How does trade affect how people use land? How much does it contribute to greenhouse gas emissions? And how does this all affect wildlife? To delve into these issues, we will combine complex models on how people use land with cutting-edge models of how wildlife responds to human activity.

Shedding light with GLOBIOM

We will first use a model called GLOBIOM to see how agriculture, forestry, and bioenergy compete with each other for land. With it we can answer questions around:

  • the land needed to supply particular food demands
  • the land needed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, either by providing renewable energy (from sources such as agricultural or food waste), or soaking up carbon with reforestation
  • trends in deforestation and reforestation
  • costs and benefits of importing or exporting food and raw materials 
  • greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture and changing use of land

We will run the model under different possible trade scenarios, testing trade policies with varying scenarios of human population growth and well-being, and see how each one may affect land use. We will also be able to calculate how using land to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, when combined  with emissions released by trade-related activities, will affect global temperatures

How does this all affect wildlife?

The next step will be to see how these land use changes and greenhouse gas emissions might affect wildlife. This is where biodiversity models come in. These models examine the responses of wildlife to human pressures. By taking the projected land-use and climate changes from GLOBIOM and putting them into biodiversity models (such as PREDICTS, Madingley and others), we can understand their likely effects on wildlife.

Linking trade, emissions, and species

With all this information we will be able to meaningfully examine how trade impacts, and interacts with, biodiversity and emissions and how these affect factors such as human health and wellbeing.