Plenary and Keynote Sessions

Description

Grasslands occupy about 80% of global agricultural land and represent a wide range of ecosystems (Bosi et al., 2020). Pastureland represents approximately 889 million ha in Africa, followed by China (~506 million ha), Oceania (~345 million ha), Asia (~307 million ha, excluding China and India), United States (~252 million ha) and Brazil (~149 million ha) (Goldewijk et al. 2017; Bosi et al. 2020; Landau et al., 2020). Rangelands alone are the world largest land surface, and in 28 countries they represent more than 60 percent of total land area (FAO, 2009). The livelihoods of almost one billion people depend on grassland, thus improved management of grasslands is key to food production and sustainable development in many countries (FAO, 2009).

In general, animal production based on pastures is less geographically constrained than crop production and may occur in more diverse types of environmental conditions (Roser and Ritchie, 2019). However, in the face of world human population growing expectancies in the next few decades, the pressure for more animal products, such as milk and beef, will increase. Production will have to increase 57% for beef and 48% for milk by 2050 compared to that in 2005, as projected by FAO (Alexandratos and Bruinsma, 2012), while other estimates indicate that the global demand for livestock products will double by 2050 (Bajželj et al., 2014; Rao et al., 2015). This higher production needs to consider scenarios where land for pastures may have to be reduced in response to a number of reasons, as has been happening in Brazil (Martha Jr. et al., 2012; Landau et al., 2020), which, in turn will demand greater productivity per area.

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Sustainable Use of Grassland Resources for Improved Livelihoods

Grasslands occupy about 80% of global agricultural land and represent a wide range of ecosystems (Bosi et al., 2020). Pastureland represents approximately 889 million ha in Africa, followed by China (~506 million ha), Oceania (~345 million ha), Asia (~307 million ha, excluding China and India), United States (~252 million ha) and Brazil (~149 million ha) (Goldewijk et al. 2017; Bosi et al. 2020; Landau et al., 2020). Rangelands alone are the world largest land surface, and in 28 countries they represent more than 60 percent of total land area (FAO, 2009). The livelihoods of almost one billion people depend on grassland, thus improved management of grasslands is key to food production and sustainable development in many countries (FAO, 2009).

In general, animal production based on pastures is less geographically constrained than crop production and may occur in more diverse types of environmental conditions (Roser and Ritchie, 2019). However, in the face of world human population growing expectancies in the next few decades, the pressure for more animal products, such as milk and beef, will increase. Production will have to increase 57% for beef and 48% for milk by 2050 compared to that in 2005, as projected by FAO (Alexandratos and Bruinsma, 2012), while other estimates indicate that the global demand for livestock products will double by 2050 (Bajželj et al., 2014; Rao et al., 2015). This higher production needs to consider scenarios where land for pastures may have to be reduced in response to a number of reasons, as has been happening in Brazil (Martha Jr. et al., 2012; Landau et al., 2020), which, in turn will demand greater productivity per area.