Earth System Trend

Domesticated Land

UNIT: Percentage

Humanity uses an area the size of South America to grow crops and an area the size of Africa for livestock. There are now very few truly wild areas left. Even unmanaged woodlands or verges are within a mosaic of managed land. Better agricultural technologies and less easily available fertile land means this curve is beginning to bend in a more positive direction.

Graph Caption: Increase in agricultural land area, including cropland and pasture as a percentage of total land area.
Source: Julia Pongratz, Carnegie Institution of Washington, Stanford, US; Pongratz et al. 2008. AD 1700 to 1992 is based on reconstructions of land use and land cover (Pongratz et al., 2008). Beyond 1992 is based on the IMAGE land-use model.

Caption: Land systems in Rwanda, South of Volcans National Park
Source: Google Earth
Map Caption: Croplands and pasture lands
Map Credit: FĂ©lix Pharand-DeschĂȘnes, /