The United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has developed a new modeling framework to assess livestock’s contribution to feeding a growing population, while mitigating its environmental impact.
While livestock production is an important safety net for large numbers of rural poor, it also interacts with virtually all aspects of the environment, an FAO press release states. It remains a key element of mixed farming systems by consuming agricultural waste products, producing manure for fertilizer and providing power.
The Global Livestock Environmental Assessment Model (GLEAM) is a modeling framework that simulates the environmental impacts of the livestock sector. According to the GLEAM website, it represents the bio-physical processes and activities along livestock production chains under a life cycle assessment approach.
The aim of GLEAM is to identify harmful, undesired environmental side effects and to contribute to the assessment of adaptation and mitigation scenarios to move towards a more sustainable livestock sector, the website says.