Managing the global land resource

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With a growing population with changing demands, competition for the global land resource is increasing. We need to feed a projected population of 9-10 billion by 2050, rising to ~12 billion by 2100. At the same time, we need to reduce the climate impact of agriculture, forestry and other land use, and we almost certainly need to deliver land-based greenhouse gas removal for additional climate change mitigation. In addition, we need to deliver progress toward meeting the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, all without compromising the many ecosystem services provided by land and without exceeding planetary boundaries. Managing the land to tackle these pressing issues is a major global challenge. In this perspective paper, I provide a very broad overview of the main challenges, and explore co-benefits, trade-offs and possible solutions.
Original languageEnglish
Article number20172798
Number of pages9
JournalProceedings of the Royal Society of London. B, Biological Sciences
Issue number1874
Early online date7 Mar 2018
Publication statusPublished - 14 Mar 2018

Bibliographical note

Acknowledgments Acknowledgments
I thank many collaborators who have contributed to these studies over the years.

Funding Statement:
The input of PS contributes to the following projects: DEVIL [NE/M021327/1], MAGLUE [EP/M013200/1], U-GRASS [NE/M016900/1], Assess-BECCS [funded by UKERC] and Soils-R-GRREAT [NE/P019455/1].


  • climate change
  • land
  • food security
  • greenhouse gas removal
  • biodiversity
  • sustainable development goal
  • ecosystem service


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