Biodiversity Fact Sheets
In several Biodiversity Fact Sheets, we provide information on the impacts of the production of different crops in different climate regions on biodiversity (especially in the Mediterranean Region), as well as junctions to very good practices and biodiversity management.
The Fact Sheets target people who assess the implementation of requirements regarding cultivation methods (standard advisors, cooperatives, suppliers) and people who take decisions on product quality, supply chain and sustainability aspects in food processing companies and retailers in the EU. We wish to raise understanding for the importance of biodiversity and related key ecosystem services as the fundamental basis for agricultural production.
Animal Husbandry, Livestock Production
The livestock sector is one of the fastest growing in the agricultural economy, due to the shift in diet and food consumption patterns towards livestock products. It is the world’s largest user of land resources, taking up about 30 % of the Earth’s ice-free terrestrial surface (about 25 % corresponding to grazing land and 5 % to cropland dedicated to the production of feed – which is actually 1/3 of global cropland). Generally, livestock production has been described as having both positive and negative impacts on biodiversity, through five main drivers of change: habitat change, pollution, climate change, over-exploitation and invasive species.
Permanent Crops: Olives and Wine
The most important permanent crops in the Mediterranean region are olives and wine; most of the production is focused on Spain, Greece, Italy and Portugal. Grapes culture is one of the most ancient activities of the civilization of the Mediterranean basin. When the grape crops are cultivated in fertile and fresh lands, the quantity of fruit increases, but the quality decreases, the wine obtained has a lower quality than when the vines are planted in arid and dry lands. The olive tree is a typical Mediterranean species, present in the landscapes of the Iberian Peninsula as an element of the ecosystems and the Mediterranean culture. Although it is a rustic species, it also has climatic requirements that limit its distribution to Mediterranean climate areas. This document shows data and identifies measures to improve biodiversity performance in these permanent crops.
Arable Cropping: Cultivation of Wheat
Arable crops as a production system include a variety of different types of crops, ranging from sugar beet to cereals. Agricultural methods vary from one crop to another. In this document, we focus on conventional wheat cultivation, as it is the most important in Europe. Wheat production is part of a highly intensified production system and, as such, not only leaves little room for biodiversity in the fields, but also negatively influences the surrounding nature.
Arable Cropping: Cultivation of Sugar Beet
Root crop farming as production system includes different crops such as potatoes, sugar beet, onions and other vegetables. Agricultural methods vary consequently from one crop to another depending on the requirements of each of them. In this document, we focus on the cultivation of sugar beet, as an example of a very common, intensive crop and in which there is usually little room for biodiversity.
Vegetable Production: Cultivation of Vegetables
Vegetable farming as a production system includes a great variety of crops, so the cultivation methods vary significantly among them. The production of vegetables is one of the most intensive crops and has a very significant weight within the agrifoodindustry all over Europe. The cultivation of vegetables is, in some cases, a very specialized crop and it is common to find highly professionalized farmers and agrarian advisory structures with a very important role in reducing the environmental impact.
Livestock: Dairy Production
The dairy sector is very important from the economic standpoint in the European context: it represents about 14% of European agricultural production, more than any other product. The production of food for livestock, and specifically of food for dairy cows, varies significantly in different regions of the world. While many regions base a large part of their production of crops in the cultivation of pastures or even in grazing natural grassland, in territories such as Spain and other Mediterranean countries, the feeding of animals necessarily involves the use of arable land, in which both wet (silage, etc.) and dry (hay, grain, etc.) foods are produced.
Fundación Global Nature
Sostenibles por Naturaleza
Desde 1993 dedicados a la conservación de la naturaleza y la funcionalidad de los ecosistemas