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Original article (peer-reviewed)

Journal Environmental Science and Technology
Volume (Issue) 50
Page(s) 3928 - 3936
Title of proceedings Environmental Science and Technology
DOI 10.1021/acs.est.5b06153


Anthropogenic land use to produce commodities for human consumption is the major driver of global biodiversity loss. Synergistic collaboration between producers and consumers in needed to halt this trend. In this study, we calculate species loss on 5 min × 5 min grid level and per country due to global agriculture, pasture and forestry by combining high-resolution land use data with countryside species area relationship for mammals, birds, amphibians, and reptiles. Results show that pasture was the primary driver of biodiversity loss in Madagascar, China and Brazil, while forest land use contributed the most to species loss in DR Congo and Indonesia. Combined with the yield data, we quantified the biodiversity impacts of 1 m3 of roundwood produced in 139 countries, concluding that tropical countries with low timber yield and a large presence of vulnerable species suffer the highest impact. We also calculated impacts per kg for 160 crops grown in different countries and linked it with FAO food trade data to assess the biodiversity impacts embodied in Swiss food imports. We found that more than 95% of Swiss consumption impacts rest abroad with cocoa, coffee and palm oil imports being responsible for majority of damage.