6  Ecosystem Impacts of Virtual Land Use Embodied in Traded Goods and Services

Thomas Koellner Manel van der Sleen


As populations grow and become wealthier consumption patterns change and demands increase. For example, more meat and dairy products are being consumed, which are far more resource intensive to produce than vegetarian food. This results in an increasing demand for land, energy and water (Gerbens-Leenes et al. 2002). At the same time, trade is increasing, and many production systems have developed into highly globalized trade-dependent industries (Deutsch et al. 2007). Especially, production systems of animal products often use land and ecosystems all over the world.

Our increasing food demands have to be met with a limited ...

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