A coalition of groups, including Slow Food, Friends of the Earth, ActionAid, Birdlife, Biofuelwatch, Compassion in World Farming and European Environment Bureau have united to call for European governments, and the EU as a whole, to reduce Europe’s land footprint – i.e. the amount of land we use each year for food, textiles, wood, biofuels etc.
Research has shown that the EU is effectively ‘importing’ 1,212,050 square kilometres of agricultural land meet its demand for food, textiles & biofuels – even more land is used to produce forest products like paper, and for mining minerals and fossil fuels.
«The classic development model has produced dramatic consequences on the distribution of the planet’s resources» said Piero Sardo, president of the Slow Food Foundation for Biodiversity. «A system based on constant consumption of animal protein and uncontrolled waste is aberrant and is putting unsustainable pressure on the world’s water resources and fertile soils. Today enough food is produced in the world to feed 12 billion people, but 40% of it becomes waste before even coming close to a table. For years Slow Food has been committed to promoting a system of production, distribution and consumption that opposes waste and land grabbing (the acquisition of fertile lands at ridiculously low prices, mostly in the global south, that is threatening biodiversity, food sovereignty and the existence of local communities). We need rapid and incisive action at the community level and on the part of institutions, citizens and civil society.”
This massive import of land is happening at the same time as land is under increasing pressure around the world, with land grabbing taking land away from local people. In addition, the EU has made the problem worse by adopting ill-advised policies promoting biofuels and biomass burning.
The launch of this coalition comes as the EU is examining how to measure Europe’s resource use, and Slow Food, Friends of the Earth and others are pushing for land footprint, along with carbon footprint, water footprint & material use, to be the basis for this measurement. By measuring and managing Europe’s resource use we will be able to become more resource efficient, reducing wastage, the cost of materials and creating jobs in resource efficient industries.
For more information: http://bit.ly/115ecHg