United Nations panel says humans must change land management

Posted at 6:30 PM, Aug 11, 2019
and last updated 2019-08-12 01:51:32-04
United Nations panel says humans must change land management

According to a new report by the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, humans must change the way lands are managed to combat the effects of global warming.

The report takes a closer look at how climate change is affected by the way people utilize land, one of which relates to the ways humans produce and cultivate food.

The International Panel on Climate Change, or IPCC for short, says agriculture, forestry and other land use account for 23 percent of human greenhouse emissions.

The report states that reducing food waste could be part of the solution and is something San Luis Obispo resident Anh Le agrees with.

""I feel like we are not as connected to our food as people are elsewhere... so because we have such an abundance of it like when you go to grocery stores all their shelves are stocked... there is this illusion that there is always going to be food," said Le.

Executive Director for the Land Use Trust of Santa Barbara County Chet Work said the central coast is home to some of the most fertile lands on the planet.

""Maintaining natural systems... natural cycles... stream corridors... forests and certainly utilizing our agricultural systems to store carbon maybe some of the most impactful work we can do," said Work.

Many believe transitioning to a more plant based diet could help, but others say just being more conscientious about where your food comes from is a step in the right direction.

"Whether that is at the farm gate or all the way to dinner plate when you are making grocery shopping decisions about how we can be more efficient with that... we should all agree that we need to produce food with fewer inputs," said Brent Burchett, executive director for the San Luis Obispo Farm Bureau.

The report recommends nations re-plant forests as trees can help reduce the amount of green house gases in the air.

According to the IPCC, as land becomes more degraded it will not only be harder to farm on, but the land will also struggle in absorbing things such as carbon and water which can lead to other environmental impacts.

An estimated 500 million people live in areas that experience desertification, something the panel suggests could become a bigger problem with an increasing global population.