Dans les pays en développement, l'élevage représente plus d'un tiers du produit intérieur agricole brut ; la croissance et la transformation rapides du secteur de l'élevage dans de grandes régions de la planète ont débouché sur une amélioration des revenus et de la situation alimentaire d?un grand nombre de personnes. Cette « révolution de l'élevage » a cependant largement négligé les producteurs pauvres ; elle a, en outre, accru le risque de zoonoses et été à l'origine de dégradations environnementales.
There is growing degradation in sylvo-pastoral lands that were originally under common property regimes, but over which the state now asserts ownership. User associations are being given the right to take charge of regulating how these areas are sustainably exploited by means of use agreements, and are proving an effective instrument in halting the degradation process.
Every year, 13 million hectares of forest are lost worldwide; that is an area the size of Austria and Switzerland combined. 90 percent of this deforestation involves tropical forests. Forest loss has devastating effects on the climate and is the source of between 15 and 20 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions. If global warming is to be kept below the critical threshold of two degrees Celsius, forest loss and degradation must be halted without delay
In order to adequately address the important role of soils and land for sustainable development, a holistic approach is needed. This article discusses why biophysical but also socio-economic aspects have to be considered – using the example of Guatemala, one of the first countries to support the proposal to create the Sustainable Development Goals.
With more than 900 million people world-wide affected by chronic hunger, international action on soil conservation is urgently required. The United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) enjoys substantial support, and the author of this article demonstrates that it could play a key role as a global policy and monitoring framework in addressing land and soil degradation.
Since 2006, a European Union-wide strategy on soil conservation has been in existence that is to address the complex roles that soil plays as a natural resource. However, a legally binding agreement has so far met with opposition by a blocking minority of EU Member States. Does the EU nevertheless offer prospects for soil conservation?
Rangelands cover 30 per cent of the global land surface. They support a considerable share of the global ruminant value chains, are habitat for a high plant and animal diversity and have various ecological, economic and social functions. But rangelands are currently under pressure from global change processes. A focus on humananimal- environment interactions is necessary to avoid resource overexploitation and degradation.
Not only has soil degradation in Niger been halted thanks to an integrated approach combining water harvesting technologies, the application of organic residues and planting of fruit trees and vegetables. The strategy has also enabled increases in farmers’ income as well as an active involvement of the country’s largely marginalised women in food production through their gaining access to land.
Soils around the world are degrading rapidly, reducing ecosystem diversity and some important functions, threatening food and other human securities, and increasing vulnerability to climate change. This is a vicious cycle created by and leading to further unsustainable land-use practices. Integrated (‘nexus’) soil, land, water and ecosystem management can help to turn it into a virtuous cycle.
ELD is a joint initiative of Germany, the European Commission and the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD). ELD offers a strong platform for raising public awareness of land degradation and advocating sustainable land-use strategies.