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Livestock plays a vital role in the food and water nexus.

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Livestock is a general term used for farm animals, such as dairy cattle, beef cattle, pigs, broilers and laying hens, kept for use and profit. As part of agriculture, conventional livestock production is one of the main drivers of deforestation in the world. This system focuses on technologies for increased productivity, such as high-yielding breeds, modern feeding techniques, veterinary health products, as well as synthetic fertilizers and pesticides, which in itself represents a threat towards the environment. What is more, conventional livestock production takes up as much as about 70 % of the total agricultural land!

It is estimated that by the middle of the century, the global food demand will rise by 1.1 % per year. The demand for meat and milk by this time is expected to rise by 75 % and 60 % respectively, compared to the demand at the beginning of the century. If not properly managed, livestock production could cripple the life supporting systems of our biosphere and all other living beings sharing our planet. It is therefore increasingly important to understand the relationship between an increasing demand for livestock products and the exploitation and erosion of water and soil resources. Actions that need to be implemented in order to achieve sustainable production in and across different systems remain subject to debate. Today’s systems are challenged to increase production levels, while reducing their environmental impact and at the same time being economically viable and socially responsible. Some alternatives to conventional production already exist and will be mentioned in this Toolbox element, as well as further tools to reduce the impact of this agricultural practice on the environment.

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The Environmental Impact of Livestock Video Environmental Impact of Livestock Livestock Quiz Animals in Permaculture Quiz Livestock Interactive Summary


The Toolbox contains knowledge and methods to revive the land, use synergies and develop degraded rural settings. Each entity in the Toolbox consists of a video and a short summary introducing the topic, a literature review for a more in depth insight into the topic, as well as a quiz to test your knowledge on the subject.

These publications are a result of collaboration with Master students, PhD students and researchers at the Institute of Wastewater Management and Water Protection at Hamburg University of Technology. They are concerned with restoring degraded areas and creating new, not just inhabitable, but liveable spaces. All RUVIVAL publications are available in the readings section for free as a download as we support open access and source.

Furthermore, each toolbox contains a variety of other tools like calculators, manuals, handbooks or a database according to the topic.

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RUVIVAL produces e-learning material concerned with sustainable rural development. The project exists since 2016 as part of the Hamburg Open Online University (HOOU). The RUVIVAL Team produces the material at the Institute of Wastewater Management and Water Protection (AWW) as part of the Hamburg University of Technology (TUHH).

The aim is to spread knowledge on sustainable practices. This e-learning website gives you the tools to implement sustainable practices in the area of sanitation, water and soil conservation.

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Veröffentlicht am

November 05, 2019





Alvaro Rigel Gallegos Rivero

Ruth Schaldach

Isidora Vrbavac

Nina Wandel

Robin Kulpa

Richa Rajoriya

LRMI Metadaten