Agriculture is a major driver of tropical deforestation - 13 Sep 2010  
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Using satellite data from the United Nations researchers at Stanford University in California, USA have found that more than 80% of agricultural land expansion in the tropics between 1980 and 2000 did not come from use of existing land  but instead resulted from deforestation of primarily rainforests.

What has also been documented is that the forests are being cleared to create pastureland for livestock as well as to grow crops such as soya and palm oil products used for animal feed.

Stanford researcher and study author Dr. Holly Gibbs stated, “This has huge implications for global warming, if we continue to expand our farmland into tropical forests at that rate.” An earlier study, “Climate Benefits of Changing Diet,” from the Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency, found that a global shift to a vegan diet would result in significant reforestation, along with an 80% reduction in climate change mitigation costs.

Thank you, Dr. Gibbs, Stanford colleagues and Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency for highlighting the link between tropical deforestation and livestock raising.

May we all realize the importance of a dietary shift away from animal products to save the tropical rainforests and reverse global warming.  As on many other occasions, Supreme Master Ching Hai reminded of the detrimental tolls of livestock raising and the need to halt it for the sake of our planet during an October 2009 videoconference in Germany.

Supreme Master Ching Hai: Saving the world’s tropical forests, the lungs of the Earth, is one of the very important priorities. The rainforests themselves normally are our protectors, but as the climate gets warmer, instead of absorbing CO2 to protect our planet’s climate, they will be emitting back CO2 as well.

Now, we need to look at the main reason why there is deforestation. There is a whole industry behind it in most of the cases, namely the livestock industry. For example, the number one reason for deforestation of the Amazon, which is the greatest lung of our planet, is to raise cattle.

 Stop the livestock industry - that would be the most effective way to halt global warming and restore our planet. It will save our precious forests, which takes decades to grow, and create more natural forests that we need to reduce global warming.

We must stop the livestock industry. I hope the leaders will do this.