Theme 4: Wildlife--Oral Sessions

Description

After the publication of the “long shadow of cattle” report, ruminant production systems have received great pressure for their contributions in greenhouse gases (GHG). However, the environmental effects of human activities are much broader than GHG production and in some cases, there are positive contributions. In order to broaden the environmental perspective and with the encouragement of governments, the private sector and NGOs, LEAP-FAO has developed environmental assessment guidelines for the world's livestock production systems. This paper presents a road-testing of the Biodiversity Assessment Guideline at farm scale for six case studies in pastoral livestock systems in Uruguay. The producers involved correspond to farmers with a mixed livestock system (cows and sheep) with a full cycle and areas ranging between 2000 and 5000 hectares. Three of the farms have production based 100% on natural grasslands, while the other three had 30% of their area with sown pastures. The application of the guide at local level implies the use of the system of pressure, state and response indicators (PSR). The recommendation of the guide in its public review version requires a minimum set of 24 indicators, which can also be divided into several measurable variables. The results obtained in this study showed that the complete set is a reliable tool to evaluate the functioning of the systems in terms of their contribution to biodiversity conservation. However, some are more sensitive than others to evaluate changes depending on the scale. For example, the change in land use due to planting of forage crops clearly affects birds and arthropods such as spiders; though, due to scale of habitat use is less clear the global effect in bird population. The state indicators related to richness and diversity of species from different taxonomic groups is very relevant but result the more expensive issue in the assessment. Global indicators as the Ecosystem Integrity Index (EII) show a consistent effect of intensification but the connectivity in the actual percentages of natural grassland substitution is still good.

Share

COinS
 

The New Tendencies of Environmental Impact Assessment of Livestock Production: A Road Testing of LEAP/FAO Biodiversity Assessment Guidelines in Pastoral Systems in Uruguay

After the publication of the “long shadow of cattle” report, ruminant production systems have received great pressure for their contributions in greenhouse gases (GHG). However, the environmental effects of human activities are much broader than GHG production and in some cases, there are positive contributions. In order to broaden the environmental perspective and with the encouragement of governments, the private sector and NGOs, LEAP-FAO has developed environmental assessment guidelines for the world's livestock production systems. This paper presents a road-testing of the Biodiversity Assessment Guideline at farm scale for six case studies in pastoral livestock systems in Uruguay. The producers involved correspond to farmers with a mixed livestock system (cows and sheep) with a full cycle and areas ranging between 2000 and 5000 hectares. Three of the farms have production based 100% on natural grasslands, while the other three had 30% of their area with sown pastures. The application of the guide at local level implies the use of the system of pressure, state and response indicators (PSR). The recommendation of the guide in its public review version requires a minimum set of 24 indicators, which can also be divided into several measurable variables. The results obtained in this study showed that the complete set is a reliable tool to evaluate the functioning of the systems in terms of their contribution to biodiversity conservation. However, some are more sensitive than others to evaluate changes depending on the scale. For example, the change in land use due to planting of forage crops clearly affects birds and arthropods such as spiders; though, due to scale of habitat use is less clear the global effect in bird population. The state indicators related to richness and diversity of species from different taxonomic groups is very relevant but result the more expensive issue in the assessment. Global indicators as the Ecosystem Integrity Index (EII) show a consistent effect of intensification but the connectivity in the actual percentages of natural grassland substitution is still good.