UNITED NATIONS, Jan. 25 (UPI) -- Demand for more farmland worldwide poses a threat to the global environment, a United Nations report said.
The report released Friday predicted an area the size of the country of Brazil could be ruined by clearance for agricultural purposes by 2050.
"Recognizing that land is a finite resource, we need to become more efficient in the ways we produce, supply and consume our land-based products," U.N. Under-Secretary-General Achim Steiner said in a written statement.
The report, which was conducted by an international team of scientists on behalf of the U.N. Environmental Programme, said up to 849 million hectares of land currently in a natural state could be cleared and tilled in the coming decades to help meet growing global demand for food, livestock and other agricultural crops.
The report will be used to help individual nations chart ways of increasing farm production while conserving their land resources as much as possible.