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Impact of Globalisation on Land Use and Food Security

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: Environmental Studies
Wordcount: 1169 words Published: 4th Sep 2017

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Discuss the impact of globalisation on land use and food security in developed tropical areas.

Globalisation over the past decades has impacted on major fields worldwide. It connects the world through trade, human migration, markets and capital flows and social and political institutions (Lambin & Meyfroidt, 2011). With the projected population growth of 9 billion in 2030 (Grau & Aide, 2008), the pressure on land use has become a major issue, the main reason being that land is a limited resource. There is no doubt that urbanization and technology breakthrough and population growth have a direct impact on the available land. This essay will argue that the impacts of globalisation have been rather negative, causing mass deforestation and pressure on the available fertile soils and yielding to an increase in abandoned lands which in turn have damaged the biomes of these forests. It will also include some possible solution to the problems caused by globalisation on land use.

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Globalisation has given rise to massive deforestation all over the planet. According to Lambin and Meyfroidt (2011), the land lost to degradation for the period 2000 to 2030 is predicted to be 30 to 87 Million per hectare, (Mha) and for the same period the total land demand predicted is 303 to 845 Mha. These authors further predict that the existing protected areas will continue to expand at a rate of 0.9 to 2.7 Mha per year while 1 to 2.9 Mha will become unsuitable for cultivation for the same period. Thus the available land for cultivation will be taken up rapidly and forests are bound to be cleared for cultivation in the near future. According to the same authors, deforestation is significantly affected by the spatial dynamics caused by displacement, rebound, cascade and remittance. The effect of these four factors are linked to migration of people, international growing trade and land conversion. Furthermore the change in diet and eating habits of the world growing population has contributed immensely to agricultural expansion (Grau & Aide, 2008). A clear example of impact of globalization, deforestation and growing food demand can be seen in Brazil. For the past years, Brazil has been producing soy intensively for the South East Asia (soy boom). This phenomenon has a double effect on the world. The soy boom based partly on transgenic cultivars supplies the world with high quality food thus alleviating the increasing food demand and has a positive outcome for the Brazilian economy, but on the other hand this production has caused immense deforestation and damage of Biosystems in Brazil. The principal area of damage is the Amazon basin (Houghton et al. 1991; Laurance 1998; Lambin et al. 2003) cited by Grau & Aide (2008)).

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One solution to cater for the diminishing fertile land would be modern agriculture. Modern agriculture can enhance food productivity and efficient use of fertile soils.

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The other factor contributing to depletion of the fertile soil around the world and to deforestation is the rapidly growing population, the constant increase in food demand and new eating habits.

There is evidence that land use has been highly affected by globalisation causing problems worldwide. This essay has discussed the various aspects of the problems. Both Lambin & Meyfroidt (2011) and Grau & Aide (2008) agree that efficient land management, technological advancement through new high yield crops and second generation biofuels as well as appropriate investments plans for the restoration of degraded lands are potential solutions to sustain food productivity and efficient land use. Furthermore, with modern agriculture, better policies and collaboration within countries, the available land can still produce enough food for the world while preserving biodiversity and our forests. The fertile lands could be used to cultivate high yield crops while the low productive lands could be used to grow crops for biofuels. Moreover technical knowhow in agriculture could contribute immensely towards research and innovation for the promotion of new plants adapted to grow in marginal and abandoned lands. In this way, these lands could be restored and the plants cultivated would keep the balance of oxygen and carbon dioxide as well as the biodiversity of the area.


Reference List:

Calum Brown, Dave Murray-Rust, Jasper van Vliet, Shah Jamal Alam,Peter H. Verburg, Mark

D. Rounsevell, Experiments in Globalisation, Food Security and Land Use Decision Making’, School of GeoSciences, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, EH8 9XP, United Kingdom, Institute for Environmental Studies, VU University Amsterdam, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Eric F. Lambin & Patrick Meyfroidt, 2011, ‘Global land use change, economic globalization,

and the looming land scarcity’, School of Earth Sciences and Woods Institute, Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94305; and Earth and Life Institute, Georges Lemaître Centre for Earth and Climate Research, University of Louvain, B-1348 Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium

Grau, HR & M Aide 2008,‘Globalization and land-use transitions in Latin America’ Ecology

and Society 13(2):16. http://www.ecologyandsociety.org/vol13/iss2/art16/

Patrick Meyfroidt, Eric F. Lambin (UCL/Stanford) et al., ‘Globalization of land use:

Global land use trends, potentially available cropland and paths of commodity crop

Expansion’, F.R.S.-FNRS & Université catholique de Louvain (UCL), Earth and

Life Institute, TECLIM research center, Louvain-La-Neuve, Belgium

Rachael D Garrett, Ximena Rueda & Eric F Lambin2013, ‘Globalization’s unexpected

impact on soybean production in South America: linkages between preferences for non-genetically modified crops, eco-certifications, and land use’, Environmental Research Letters, Volume 8, Number 4

Schmitz, C , Biewald, A, Lotze-Campen, H, Popp, A, Dietrich, JP, Bodirsky, B, Krause, M,

Weindl, I, 2012, ‘Global Environmental Change-Human And Policy Dimensions’, Vol.22(1), pp.189-209


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