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The future of the environment and agriculture

Plenary / Panel
english language


Chief, Livestock Information, Sector Analysis and Policy Branch (AGAL), Animal Production and Health Division, Agriculture and Consumer Protection Department, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, Rome Abstract
The greenhouse gases (GHG), which are, directly or indirectly, affected by human activities, include carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4) and nitrous oxides (N20 etc.). Agriculture contributes to all of them. In particular, land use change (essentially deforestation, burning, peat fires, decay of drained peat soils) constitutes an important source of CO2. Agriculture and deforestation contribute more than 30% to GHG emissions. However, emissions from the food sector are even larger taking into account the whole food chain including agricultural waste, processing facilities, transport, etc. GHG emissions from agricultural production and deforestation are often closely associated with rural poverty, food security and subsistence agriculture.
Livestock's role in the global N and C cycles underlying climate change are closely connected to livestock's impact on land use and land-use change. Livestock's land use includes grazing land and cropland dedicated to the production of feed crops and fodder. Considering emissions along the entire commodity chain, livestock currently contribute about 18% to the global warming effect. Livestock contribute about 9% of total carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, but 37% of methane (CH4), and 65% of nitrous oxide (N2O). The latter will substantially increase over the coming decades, as the pasture land is currently at maximum expanse in most regions; future expansion of the livestock sector will increasingly be crop-based. There are a variety of emission reduction options that can be applied at reasonable costs. Such options include carbon sequestration on extensively used grazing land; reduction of methane emissions from low-input ruminant production, in particular, dairy; and reduction of methane and nitrous oxide emissions from animal waste, through energy recovery and improved waste management.
Freie Journalistin, Wien Chair


Chief, Livestock Information, Sector Analysis and Policy Branch (AGAL), Animal Production and Health Division, Agriculture and Consumer Protection Department, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, Rome

 Head of the livestock sector analysis and policy branch at the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN in Rome, Italy. He has been working on livestock policy for the last 15 years, in particular focusing on environmental issues, poverty alleviation and public health protection. Prior to that, he has worked in agricultural development projects in different African countries.
 Dr. Steinfeld is an agricultural economist and graduated from the Technical University of Berlin, Germany (now Humboldt University).


Freie Journalistin, Wien

1984-2009 Ressort Innenpolitik in der Radio-Information, ORF - Österreichischer Rundfunk
1991-1997 Ressortleiterin, ORF - Österreichischer Rundfunk
1997-2002 Sendungsverantwortliche "Report", Moderation des politischen TV-Wochenmagazins des ORF "Report"
1999 Sendungsverantwortung für "Report International"
2001 Sendungsverantwortung für "Europa-Panorama"
2002-2005 Moderation von "Modern Times", des Zukunftsmagazins des ORF
2002-2009 Leiterin der Hauptabteilung "Bildung und Zeitgeschehen", ORF - Österreichischer Rundfunk
seit 2009 Freie Journalistin und Moderatorin

Technology Forum

show timetable


10:00 - 12:30Technology brunch hosted by Tiroler ZukunftsstiftungSocial
13:00 - 13:20Opening by the European Forum AlpbachPlenary
13:20 - 14:00Plenary sessionPlenary
14:00 - 14:30Plenary sessionPlenary
15:00 - 15:45Ethics of sciencePlenary
15:45 - 16:30Stem cellsPlenary
17:00 - 18:00Politics and science - Advice through sciencePlenary
20:00 - 21:30BionicsPlenary
21:30 - 23:30Reception hosted by Alcatel-Lucent Austria AGSocial


09:00 - 18:00Junior Alpbach - Science and technology for young peopleBreakout
09:00 - 16:00Working Group 01: From basic research to economic valueBreakout
09:00 - 16:00Working Group 02: Research integrity in scienceBreakout
09:00 - 16:00Working Group 03: The myths of life sciences and their consequencesBreakout
09:00 - 16:00Working Group 04: Aviation and the environmentBreakout
09:00 - 16:00Working Group 05: Think Tanks in AustriaBreakout
09:00 - 16:00Working Group 06: Gender mainstreaming in science and development. Perceive realities and decide visionarilyBreakout
09:00 - 16:00Working Group 07: Success factor human resources - Regions in competitionBreakout
09:00 - 16:00Working Group 08: Climate change - The future of transportBreakout
09:00 - 16:00Working Group 09: The governance of applied research: responsibilities, independence and resourcesBreakout
09:00 - 16:00Working Group 10: Digital healthcareBreakout
09:00 - 15:00Ö1 Children's University Alpbach - Science and technology for kidsBreakout
10:00 - 15:00Special Event: From the Stability Pact for South Eastern Europe to the Regional Cooperation Council - A New Momentum for the Western Balkans' Perspective in Higher Education and Research?Breakout
10:00 - 16:00Working Group 11: Energy efficiency - Recognizing opportunities, utilizing potentialsBreakout
16:30 - 17:15The frontiers of science, part IPlenary
17:15 - 18:30Global competition for global talentsPlenary
20:00 - 21:30Information and communications infrastructures - The nerve centres of modern societiesPlenary


10:00 - 10:30Science education for a science-driven societyPlenary
10:30 - 11:15The frontiers of science, part IIPlenary
11:15 - 11:45The future of the environment and agriculturePlenary
12:00 - 12:15Junior Alpbach and Ö1 Children's University Alpbach 2008Plenary
12:15 - 13:15Improbable Research and the Ig Nobel prizePlenary
13:15 - 14:00Snack reception, hosted by AVL List GmbHSocial