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Harvard says returning animal farming land to forest would boost climate efforts


A new report says returning a portion of land used for animal agriculture back to forest land would have a significant impact on the environment.


The research, from Harvard University, says it will help the UK reach their Paris Agreement targets in the battle to tackle climate change.


The report was launched at the Grow Green Conference in the British Library earlier this week.


British lead author Dr Helen Harwatt from Harvard University said:

“It’s essential for the UK to have a Paris-compliant food system and right now it’s far from that.
“Our research shows for the first time that it’s possible – and could deliver multiple benefits to the UK population, including more provisions of healthy food, and more forest areas for recreation.
“The new habitats would also create opportunities to tackle the wildlife crisis by reintroducing wildlife, such as beavers, turtle doves and lynx – which is also great news for a nation of animal lovers.” 

Dr Harwatt added that the fact the UK imports 90% of its fruit and vegetables puts it in an increasingly precarious position in light of climate change impacts and shifts in international trade.


Almost half of all land in the UK is currently used for farming animals and it provides very little nutrition compared to the resource inputs involved.

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