How to Manage the Global Land Squeeze? Produce, Protect, Reduce, Restore

Sectors and Themes
Forestry and Other Land Use
Expertise Level
Resource Type
Guidance and Frameworks
Developer or Source
World Resources Institute (WRI)

Rising population and demand for food, feed, fiber and fuel are increasing competition for land. For example, new WRI research projects that by 2050, an area of land nearly twice the size of India will be converted to agriculture, while an area the size of the continental United States will be needed to meet the world’s growing demand for wood. At the same time, as the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) noted, humanity needs to protect and restore land to fight climate change, prevent biodiversity loss and sustain other ecosystem service benefits that people depend upon from nature.

WRI recommends a four-part approach to address this land squeeze in a manner that is good for people, planet and prosperity for all. They call it “Produce-Protect-Reduce-Restore,” an integrated approach elaborated in our new report, The Global Land Squeeze: Managing the Growing Competition for Land.

Produce-Protect-Reduce-Restore can address land-use-related issues relevant to leaders from business, government and civil society. It has important implications for food security, climate change, biodiversity, equitable rural development, bioenergy, building materials and other demands on land.

This article explains the approach, suggests goals for each of its four pillars and identifies key actions needed to achieve them. Recognizing that the four pillars are interconnected, we conclude with cross-cutting considerations.

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