United Nations
Environment Programme

Assessing Global Land Use

This report examines the main causes for cropland expansion, proposes an estimated reference value for this expansion to occur within sustainable levels, and presents a set of realistic policy options to keep global cropland expansion within this safe operating space.

The authors believe global net cropland area could safely increase to up to 1,640 million hectares by 2020. While they recognize there is still great potential in increasing yields in regions like Sub-Saharan Africa, the authors highlight new opportunities to steer consumption towards levels of sustainability, particularly in high-consuming regions.