2014-04-28. Study shows how Brazilian cattle ranching policies can reduce deforestation.

posted May 5, 2014, 4:32 PM by Alan Gould
For GSS A New World View chapter 5. Excerpt: There is a higher cost to steaks and hamburgers than what is reflected on the price tags at grocery stores and restaurants. Producing food – and beef, in particular – is a significant source of greenhouse gas emissions, which are projected to grow as rising incomes in emerging economies lead to greater demands for meat. But an encouraging new study by UC Berkeley researchers and international collaborators ..., published today (Monday, April 28) in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, found that by subsidizing more productive use of pastureland, and by taxing those who stick with less sustainable practices, Brazil could cut its rate of deforestation by half and shave off as much as 25 percent of all global greenhouse gas emissions from deforestation. ...“semi-intensive” cattle ranching practices in Brazil...include better management of pastureland by rotating where animals graze, planting better grasses more frequently, and amending the soil to unlock more nutrients. The authors noted that better land management could double productivity of pasturelands compared to conventional practices, thereby reducing the pressure to cut down more trees. ...Over the past several decades, Brazil has risen to become the largest beef exporter in the world.  ...“There’s this notion that fighting climate change requires a stark tradeoff for emerging economies, that they must forego development to meet their emissions target,” said Cohn. “This paper suggests that there is a pathway where that compromise may not be needed.”...  http://newscenter.berkeley.edu/2014/04/28/brazil-cattle-ranching-deforestation/.  By Sarah Yang, UC Berkeley News Center.