One of the outcomes of global food systems impacts environmental sustainability. A goal of food system activities is to deliver environmental sustainability. These outcomes in turn influence the food system drivers.
This section presents selected data on environmental sustainability as a result of food system activities.
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Change in Forest Cover
Intensive and extensive food production systems lead to an over-exploitation of renewable resources. This further effects not only food production, but other related ecosystem services. The reduction in forest cover, partly because of demographic and agricultural expansion is particularly worrying in LICs and LMICs.
Soil degradation has been accelerated in the past few decades because of increasing urbanization, industrialization, pollution, and intensive application of synthetic chemicals.
Global Spread of Pests and Pathogens
Plant pests and diseases world wide has worsened over time with about 10% of major plant and pest and diseases having infested half of the countries they could have infested.
Agricultural and Forest Land Use
Despite the global loss in forest cover, agricultural expansion has stabilized.