Staff Publications

Staff Publications

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    'Staff publications' is the digital repository of Wageningen University & Research

    'Staff publications' contains references to publications authored by Wageningen University staff from 1976 onward.

    Publications authored by the staff of the Research Institutes are available from 1995 onwards.

    Full text documents are added when available. The database is updated daily and currently holds about 240,000 items, of which 72,000 in open access.

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Record number 548187
Title Exploring Future Food Provision Scenarios for China
Author(s) Ma, Lin; Bai, Zhaohai; Ma, Wenqi; Guo, Mengchu; Jiang, Rongfeng; Liu, Junguo; Oenema, Oene; Velthof, Gerard L.; Whitmore, Andrew P.; Crawford, John; Dobermann, Achim; Schwoob, Marie; Zhang, Fusuo
Source Environmental Science and Technology 53 (2019)3. - ISSN 0013-936X - p. 1385 - 1393.
DOI https://doi.org/10.1021/acs.est.8b04375
Department(s) Sustainable Soil Use
PE&RC
WIMEK
Publication type Refereed Article in a scientific journal
Publication year 2019
Abstract

Developing sustainable food systems is essential, especially for emerging economies, where food systems are changing rapidly and affect the environment and natural resources. We explored possible future pathways for a sustainable food system in China, using multiple environmental indicators linked to eight of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Forecasts for 2030 in a business as usual scenario (BAU) indicate increases in animal food consumption as well as increased shortages of the land available and the water needed to produce the required food in China. Associated greenhouse gas emissions and nitrogen and phosphorus losses could become 10-42% of global emissions in 2010. We developed three main pathways besides BAU [produce more and better food (PMB), consume and waste less food (CWL), and import more food (IMF)] and analyzed their impacts and contributions to achieving one or more of the eight SDGs. Under these scenarios, the demand for land and water and the emissions of GHG and nutrients may decrease by 7-55% compared to BAU, depending on the pathway followed. A combination of PMB and CWL was most effective, while IMF externalizes impacts to countries exporting to China. Modestly increasing feed or food imports in a selective manner could ease the pressure on natural resources. Our modeling framework allows us to analyze the effects of changes in food production-consumption systems in an integrated manner, and the results can be linked to the eight SDGs. Despite formidable technological, social, educational, and structural barriers that need to be overcome, our study indicates that the ambitious targets of China's new agricultural and environmental strategy appear to be achievable.

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