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Latin America: Trading Virtual Water, Carbon And Biodiversity

Congress: 2015
Author(s): Mark Mulligan

Mark Mulligan,
King’s College London
mark.mulligan@kcl.ac.uk
@markmulligan
www.policysupport.org


Oral:
Abstract
Context
  • Virtual water is traded when used consumptively in production of traded product, and thus no longer available for use downstream.
  • The agricultural land in Latin America occurs in a mix of humid and dry lands.
  • Agriculture in drylands => irrigated => greater leaf area than preirrigation cover => greater evapotranspiration => +ve water 'footprint' (local loss)
  • Agriculture in humid lands = replace tree cover with rainfed crops => less evapotranspiration => negative water 'footprint' (local gain)
  • New agriculture in previously natural areas also 'consumes' forest carbon and biodiversity
  • Embedded carbon = lost climate change mitigation potential
  • Embedded biodiversity = lost opportunities for biotech and medical discovery
2011 IWRA - International Water Resources Association office@iwra.org - http://www.iwra.org - Admin