Globally, while the livestock sector contributes significantly to the environmental impact (EI), it faces some key challenges such as to increase production to cover increased demand, to adapt to highly variable natural and economic scenarios, and to enhance its eco-environmental performance. Such complex scenarios require a comprehensive evaluation of the EI considering the carbon footprint (CF), the blue water footprint (BWF), the socio-economic sustainability (SES) and their interactions. Hence, the economic value (EV) made by the goat production system (GPS) in the Comarca Lagunera (CL), northern arid Mexico was quantified to compare it with its EI and SES (1994e2018). Response variables included the EV of the CF and BWF and the SES of the EV-GPS. The value of each of the variables was adjusted to 2011 euros while indicating the value in United States Dollars (USD) between parentheses. The CL recorded annual averages of 390,427 goats, 64.34 million liters of milk and 3,316.12 tons of meat. When contrasting the EV-GPS [MV 18.17 (MUSD 23.47)] with the EV-CF [MV 3.61 (MUSD 4.67); 84.29 kg CO2-eq kg milk-meat protein -1, MMP -1] þ EV-BWF [MV 2.48 (MUSD 3.20); 462.99 I H2O kg MMP -1)], a positive balance was observed. The accumulated GPS-CL economic spillover effect was MV 454.23 (MUSD 586.83), 5.79 million minimum wages (MW) yearly and close to 400,000 MW during the studied period. The GPS is highly eco-efficient considering both the CF and the transformation of the BWF into animal protein (milk-meat) with an undisputable biological value. Besides, the greater the economic and productive efficiency of the GPS, the better the socio-economic conditions of the producer and his family, with concomitant decreases in both the index and degree of marginalization of families and municipalities where goat production develops.
Keywords: Goats, Ecological footprint, Environmental and economic impacts