SANTIAGO, Aug. 5 (Xinhua) -- Greenhouse gas emissions from agricultural activity in Latin America doubled in the past 50 years and will continue to worsen if nothing is done to reverse the trend, a United Nations (UN) agency said Tuesday.
Emissions of carbon dioxide from agricultural and animal farming in the region increased from 388 million tons to more than 900 million tons between 1961 and 2010, the Latin American regional office of the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) said. Emissions from ranching make up 88 percent of the total.
"It is fundamental for governments to promote the absorption and retention of greenhouse gases, to progress towards sustainable production models that will allow us to achieve full food security," FAO regional representative Raul Benitez said.
In 2001-2010, total regional greenhouse gas emissions, including from forestry and other land uses, surpassed 2.8 billion tons of CO2. Over the same period, the region's forests served as an important counterbalance, absorbing 440 million tons of CO2.
UN figures show that Latin America is the world's second-largest producer of agricultural greenhouse gases, responsible for 17 percent of the total. Asia, with 44 percent, is the biggest, followed by Africa, Europe and North America.