Up to 40% of the planet’s land degraded: UN

New Delhi, April 27 (IANS): How Earth’s resources – soil, water and biodiversity – are currently mismanaged and misused, threatening the health and survival of many species on earth, including our own, according to a stark new report from the Convention United Nations Committee to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) warned on Wednesday.

It also points decision-makers to hundreds of practical ways to carry out land and ecosystem restoration at local, national and regional levels.

UNCCD’s flagship, evidence-based Global Land Outlook 2 (GLO2) report, in development for five years with 21 partner organizations and with over 1,000 references, is the most comprehensive consolidation of information ever compiled on the subject.

It offers insight on an unprecedented scale and projects the planetary consequences of three scenarios out to 2050 – the status quo, the restoration of 50 million square kilometers of land, and increased restoration measures through the conservation of significant natural areas. for specific ecosystem functions.

It also assesses the potential contributions of land restoration investments to climate change mitigation, biodiversity conservation, poverty reduction, human health and other key sustainable development goals.

The report warns: “At no other time in modern history has humanity faced such an array of familiar and unfamiliar risks and dangers, interacting in a hyper-connected and rapidly changing world. We cannot afford to underestimate the scale and impact of these existential threats. .”

“The conservation, restoration and sustainable use of our earth’s resources is a global imperative, which requires action in times of crisis. The status quo is not a viable path to our survival and prosperity.

GLO2 features hundreds of examples from around the world that demonstrate the potential of land restoration. It is published ahead of the 15th session of the UNCCD Conference of Parties to be held in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire (COP15, May 9-20).

According to Ibrahim Thiaw, Executive Secretary of the UNCCD: “Modern agriculture has changed the face of the planet more than any other human activity. We need to urgently rethink our global food systems, which are responsible for 80% of deforestation, 70% of freshwater use, and the biggest cause of terrestrial biodiversity loss.”

“Investing in large-scale land restoration is a powerful and cost-effective tool to combat desertification, soil erosion and loss of agricultural production. As a finite resource and our most precious natural asset, we cannot not allow us to continue to take the earth for granted.”

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