Opportunities for Sustainable Land

The central sustainability question related to land is: Can Earth's land resources support current and future population and consumption levels with fewer pressures on ecosystems, within the regenerative and buffering capacity of terrestrial ecosystems? The answer is not straightforward. Given current trends in population growth, dietary changes, and surges in the demand for bioenergy, there is a need to change land use practices to transition toward more sustainable land use. Opportunities will fall under three categories: (a) efficiency gains in what is produced from the land, (b) efficiency gains in how we use the land, and (c) new institutions and management practices. Because the linkages between land and other resources are ubiquitous, gains in land efficiency will also reduce pressures on other resources, such as water and energy.

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