PR - ENVIRONMENTAL AND SOCIAL EFFECTS OF LIVESTOCK SYSTEMS: POULTRY, BEEF AND DAIRY
Livestock production has positive and negative impacts and externalities that have an effect on the socio-economic systems as well as the ecosystem, from both the global and national perspective. This study assessed the scale, range and degree of both positive and negative impacts of livestock production systems on ecosystems, human health and livelihoods (outputs). We have characterised a set of livestock production systems for poultry, beef and dairy which we indicate as ‘snapshots’, for which the economic, social and environmental values and impacts were quantified and monetized. This kind of analysis can act as the foundation for decision-making within a specific geographical scope.
The positive and negative socio-economic impacts in livestock production depends on local circumstances. We found substantial diversity in the regions we studied in terms of productivity, impact on climate, water quality and biodiversity, but also in the potential for improvement; big is not always beautiful; intensification is not always better. The growth of the livestock sector presents many risks for natural capital, but there is much that can be done to tackle these risks. It is possible to produce animal products for the world population without losing this form of wealth, if the right path is followed.
Keywords: eco-agri-food systems, livestock production, ecosystems, human systems, ecosystem services, externalities