As land becomes less productive and people are forced to migrate to cities or abroad, there is greater likelihood of conflict over dwindling resources

ROME, Sept 12 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - More than 1.3 billion people live on agricultural land that is deteriorating, putting them at risk of worsening hunger, water shortages and poverty, the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) said on Tuesday.

People's use of the earth's natural reserves has doubled in the last 30 years. Now a third of the planet's land is severely degraded, and every year 15 billion trees and 24 billion tonnes of fertile soil are lost, UNCCD said.

"The land we live on is being strained to breaking point. Restoration and conservation are key to its survival," UNCCD said in a report launched in Ordos, China.

UNCCD promotes good land stewardship, and is the only legally binding international agreement on land issues.

As land becomes less productive - which can happen through deforestation, overgrazing, flash floods and drought - people are forced to migrate to cities or abroad, there is greater likelihood of conflict over dwindling resources, and countries' economies are hit, said UNCCD deputy executive secretary Pradeep Monga.

"If you don't fix land degradation, we get into a cycle where people are losing their livelihoods, their homes, their fields," he said.

And if the amount of productive land shrinks, less will be available to feed the world's population which is predicted to increase to more than 9 billion people by 2050, up from 7 billion today.

"If we can stop land degradation and green our deserts, we can easily become food secure," Monga told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

Small choices, like families cutting back on food waste, as well as improvements to land management, smarter ways to farm, and national policies to stop degradation, can make a lot of difference, he added.

China, which introduced the world's first law to prevent and control desertification in 2002has greened hundreds of thousands of hectares of desert in Inner Mongolia resulting in more food, more jobs and a better life for the local people, Monga said.

"People's confidence in their quality of life is back, and these places become much more habitable," he said.

Drought degrades land, but if countries have good drought plans in place and act on them then people can be protected from its worst impacts.

"We cannot prevent drought but we can prevent the calamity and crisis that comes with that. It's like facing a hurricane - we have time," he said.

"If we manage the land well, the world will become a much better place to live in every sense."

Photo: REUTERS/Zohra Bensemra

 

Copyright © Source (acima referido). O Land Portal distribui alguns materiais sem a permissão do detentor dos direitos autorais com base na doutrina do "uso justo" dos direitos de autor, o que significa que publica artigos de notícias para fins informativos não-comerciais. Se você é o proprietário do artigo ou relatório e gostaria que ele seja removido, por favor contacte-nos em hello@landportal.info e iremos remover a publicação imediatamente.

Vários itens de notícias relacionadas à governança da terra são publicadas no Land Portal todos os dias pelos utilizadores do Land Portal, a partir de várias fontes, tais como organizações noticiosas e outras instituições e indivíduos, o que representa uma diversidade de posições sobre cada tópico. O autor é identificado com a fonte do artigo; A Fundação Land Portal não tem o direito legal de editar ou corrigir o artigo, nem a Fundação endossa o seu conteúdo. Para fazer correções ou pedir permissão para republicar ou outro uso autorizado deste material, por favor entre em contato com o titular dos direitos de autor.