Friday 2 March 2012

Europe's dependence on foreign soil deepens

German news website reports Friends of the Earth claims that Europe is more dependent on land from abroad than any other continent. In a report measuring "land footprints," the group warns that Europe's need for 1.5 times its land is untenable. Analysts discovered that when foreign territory was included, average land utilization in Europe equaled 1.3 hectares per person, compared to less than 0.4 hectares of land in countries like China and India.

Campaigners say the dramatic findings once again expose the true extent to which Europe's consumption levels are unsustainable.

"Europe is more dependent on 'imported land' than any other region in the world," said Kenneth Richter from Friends of the Earth. "This has a significant impact on the ability of people in poor countries, where this land is taken away from food production, to feed themselves," he told Deutsche Welle.

Germany and the United Kingdom were singled out as having the greatest demand, with approximately 70 million hectares of foreign territory used - almost two-and-a-half times the size of Germany. That's in addition to utilizing about 10 million hectares of domestic land. Researchers point to the large-scale import of animal feed -particularly soy - from South America, which is required for meat production in both countries.

Read more here.