Meet the FABLE US team
The team is led by the University of California San Diego (UCSD), UC Santa Barbara, North Carolina State University (NCSU) and RTI International. The team’s main areas of interest have been in capacity building at state level, and coordinated modeling across North American FABLE teams as well as key export regions for US agriculture and forest products.
Models used by the team: GLOBIOM and the FABLE Calculator.
Transforming food and land-use systems in the United States
One of the largest countries in the world, the United States of America is also the third most populous country. The variety of different landscapes and climates between Alaska, Hawaii, and the contiguous US makes it one of the most biodiverse countries in the world. The numerous American national and federally managed parks are notably dedicated to preserving the country’s rich environment; however, biodiversity is still threatened by habitat loss and degradation.
As a net exporter of food, the US plays a significant role in global food production, producing large quantities of corn, soybeans, wheat, beef, and poultry. However, agriculture in the US is also a significant contributor to greenhouse gas emissions, accounting for 11.2% in 2020. Additionally, the US has moderate to high levels of crop variety concentration, making it vulnerable to supply chain disruptions and trade issues, which can lead to food availability problems for its major trade partners.
The US diet is high in fat and sugar, and contributes to high rates of overweight and obesity (71% of adults are overweight). High body-mass index is the second most important factor driving the most death and disability combined in the US, where 20% of all deaths are attributable to dietary risks.
Healthier diets following official government agency guidelines could have important implications for agricultural land use and management trends, offering a range of environmental benefits in addition to improving health outcomes. Large scale investments in reforestation/afforestation could be possible without substantial sacrifices to crop production if tree planting investments are concentrated on pasturelands and marginally productive croplands—and in particular, alongside dietary preference changes.
Key national objectives and targets