The Netherlands is facing some food challenges related to the overproduction of foods, such as meat for example. Has the peak meat been reached? As reported by the Guardian, so much livestock means so much local pollution, so the only sustainable future may lie in reduction.
The Dutch government has announced the first part of a $26.3 billion plan to buy up to 3,000 farms and large industrial polluters near protected nature reserves, if needed, through forced purchase. Helen Harwatt, a senior researcher at Chatham House and a climate policy researcher at Harvard University, said: 'The main difference from previous measures is a reduction in livestock numbers.
We tend to see only technological approaches to reduce nitrogen at the point of production or reduce losses to the environment, rather than reducing the amount of agricultural production. All eyes will be on the Netherlands to learn from this transition.
Currently, the global aspiration is to protect more land for biodiversity, reverse biodiversity loss, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, halt deforestation, and increase livestock production. There are currently far more animals on the planet than wild animals.
When we compare foods in terms of their nutrient pollution impact per kilogram produced, nothing ranks higher than beef. Two-thirds of all crop calories produced in the United States are used for feed crops. But livestock production contributes less than 1 percent of US GDP, and at least twice as much human food could be produced on land currently used to grow feed for farm animals." Tjeerd de Groot, a member of the House of Representatives in the Netherlands, told: "Everywhere you look, there is a problem with agriculture.
Yes, we have been a big exporter, but now we are paying a big price for the environment." Natasja Oerlemans, head of the WWF Netherlands food team, explained: "All signs are red. The meat and dairy production system in the Netherlands can no longer be maintained at this level.
This has been clear for years." The government says this means reducing local emissions of nitrogen compounds by between 12% and 70%, including reducing the 118 million animals raised in the Netherlands by 30% by 2030, according to projections by the Dutch Agency for environmental assessment.
The reason is that emissions of ammonia, nitrogen oxides and nitrous oxide are damaging areas of unique natural landscapes known as Natura 2000 habitats, which the country is required to protect under EU law.