DESERTIFICATION

SOIL DEGRADATION TURNS AGRICULTURAL LAND INTO DESERTS

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SOIL EROSION - The more land that we lose to grow crops the greater the food security issue. As the ice caps melt, desertification spreads to make Earth more uninhabitable.

 

 

Desertification is such a serious problem that the United Nations has a Convention to Combat the problem. They also hold annual conferences involving something like 197 parties, known as COPs.

 

Clearly, the loss of potential agricultural land to barren wastes puts additional pressure on ocean fisheries in the harvesting of wild fish and aquaculture for farmed fish, to make up for the loss of food production leading to security issues that is sure to involve millions starving and dying from malnutrition as world populations increase from 7 billion to 9 billion souls.

 

By 2025 the UN says two-thirds of the world will be living under “water-stressed” conditions – when demand outstrips supply during certain periods – with 1.8 billion people experience absolute water scarcity, where a region’s natural water resources are inadequate to supply the demand. Migration is likely to increase as a result of desertification, with the UN estimating that, by 2045, it will be responsible for the displacement of some 135 million people.

The importance of ensuring that land is well-managed is noted in the UN’s 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, which declares that “we are determined to protect the planet from degradation, including through sustainable consumption and production, sustainably managing its natural resources and taking urgent action on climate change, so that it can support the needs of the present and future generations”. Specifically, Goal 15 states our resolve to halt and reverse land degradation.

 

 

 

 

IT'S NOT JUST ABOUT SAND

In his message, Ibrahim Thiaw, the Executive Secretary of the UN Convention, said there are only three things all people need to know about the World Day to Combat Desertification:

* It isn’t just about sand,
* It isn’t an isolated issue that will quietly disappear; and
* It isn’t someone else’s problem

“It’s about restoring and protecting the fragile layer of land which only covers a third of the Earth, but which can either alleviate or accelerate the double-edged crisis facing our biodiversity and our climate,” he said.

The international community, he continued, has acknowledged the central role our land plays in our lives and livelihoods, and since the creation of the Convention, some 196 countries, including Brazil, Indonesia, China and India, as well as the European Union, have signed up to coordinated actions for sustainable land management.

“However, there are even more stories about how poor land management has degraded an area twice the size of China and shaped a farming sector that contributes nearly a quarter of all greenhouse gases,” he said, stressing that there are even more stories about how half the people on the planet are affected by that damaged land or live in urban areas, consuming resources that require 200 times as much land as their towns and cities and generating 70 per cent of emissions.

“Yet, the world is determined that by 2030, we will switch from destroying the Earth to making it productive enough to grow a better future for everyone. If we take action to restore our degraded land, it will save $1.3 billion a day to invest in the education, equality and clean energy that can reduce poverty, conflict and environmental migration,” noted Mr. Thiaw.

And while, better land management does not hold all the answers, it offers a stepping stone to reach global goals by 2030 and then act as a natural multiplier of their benefits.

“So, for this World Day to Combat Desertification, I am calling on everyone to drive this change from the ground up; to make choices and take action, either privately or professionally, as producers or consumers, to protect and restore our land. Let’s grow the future together,” he said.

 

 

 

 

DESERTIFICATION COP HISTORY

 

COP 1: Rome, Italy, 29 Sept to 10 Oct 1997

COP 9: Buenos Aires, Argentina, 21 Sept to 2 Oct 2009

COP 2: Dakar, Senegal, 30 Nov to 11 Dec 1998

COP 10: Changwon, South Korea, 10 to 20 Oct 2011

COP 3: Recife, Brazil, 15 to 26 Nov 1999

COP 11: Windhoek, Namibia, 16 to 27 Sept 2013

COP 4: Bonn, Germany, 11 to 22 Dec 2000

COP 12: Ankara, Turkey, 12 to 23 Oct 2015

COP 5: Geneva, Switzerland, 1 to 12 Oct 2001

COP 13: Ordos City, China, 6 to 16 Sept 2017

COP 6: Havana, Cuba, 25 August to 5 Sept 2003

COP 14: New Delhi, India, 2 to 13 Sept 2019

COP 7: Nairobi, Kenya, 17 to 28 Oct 2005

COP 15:  2020

COP 8: Madrid, Spain, 3 to 14 Sept 2007

COP 16:  2021

 

 

197 PARTIES

 

The Convention’s 197 parties work together to improve the living conditions for people in drylands, to maintain and restore land and soil productivity, and to mitigate the effects of drought. The UNCCD is particularly committed to a bottom-up approach, encouraging the participation of local people in combating desertification and land degradation. The UNCCD secretariat facilitates cooperation between developed and developing countries, particularly around knowledge and technology transfer for sustainable land management.

As the dynamics of land, climate and biodiversity are intimately connected, the UNCCD collaborates closely with the other two Rio Conventions; the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) and the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), to meet these complex challenges with an integrated approach and the best possible use of natural resources.

 

 

 

FOOD AID - Desertification gives rise to mass human migration as climate change refugees who will need feeding as a result of the excesses of the developed world.

 

 

THE REGIONS

 

Five world regions – Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC), Northern Mediterranean, Central and Eastern Europe - have the important job of deciding how to implement the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD). The Convention Text includes five annexes, which each concern one of these world regions.

 

The implementation of the UNCCD is organized around these five regional implementation annexes. The annexes specify how the Convention will be implemented for each region and set the focus and content of regional and subregional action programmes. These action programmes provide a framework for regional coordination and collaboration. Though the country Parties of the regions define together how the UNCCD will be implemented, most action takes place at the national level.

 

Regional annexes of the Convention

 

Annex I: Africa

Annex II: Asia

Annex III: Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC)

Annex IV: Northern Mediterranean 

Annex V: Central and Eastern Europe (CEE)

Countries not belonging to a regional implementation annex

 

 

 

16 JUNE 2019 - “Desertification, land degradation and drought are major threats affecting millions of people worldwide,” said the UN chief, “particularly women and children.” Mr. Guterres said that it is time to “urgently” change such trends, adding that protecting and restoring land can “reduce forced migration, improve food security and spur economic growth”, as well as helping to address the “global climate emergency”.

 

 

THE PARTIES - Overview of countries per UNCCD Annex

 

Looking for your national focal point (NFP), civil society organization (CSO), member of the Roster of Experts or a science and technology correspondent (STC)? Then click on your country name below:

 

Annex I: Africa

 

Algeria

Angola

Benin

Botswana

Burkina Faso

Burundi

Cameroon

Cape Verde

Central African Republic

Chad

Comoros

Congo, Democratic Republic of the

Congo, Republic of the

Côte d'Ivoire

Djibouti

Egypt

Equatorial Guinea

Eritrea

Eswatini

Ethiopia

Gabon

Gambia

Ghana

Guinea

Guinea-Bissau

Kenya

Lesotho

Liberia

Libya

Madagascar

Malawi

Mali

Mauritania

Mauritius

Morocco

Mozambique

Namibia

Niger

Nigeria

Rwanda

Sao Tome and Principe

Senegal

Seychelles

Sierra Leone

Somalia

South Africa

South Sudan

Sudan

Tanzania, United Republic of

Togo

Tunisia

Uganda

Zambia

Zimbabwe

 

Annex II: Asia

 

Afghanistan

Australia

Bahrain

Bangladesh

Bhutan

Cambodia

China

Cook Islands

Fiji

India

Indonesia

Iran, Islamic Republic of

Iraq

Jordan

Kazakhstan

Kiribati

Korea, Democratic People's Republic of

Korea, Republic of

Kuwait

Kyrgyzstan

Lao People's Democratic Republic

Lebanon

Malaysia

Maldives

Marshall Islands

Micronesia, Federated States of

Mongolia

Myanmar

Nauru

Nepal

Niue

Oman

Pakistan

Palau

Papua New Guinea

Philippines

Qatar

Samoa

Saudi Arabia

Singapore

Solomon Islands

Sri Lanka

Syrian Arab Republic

Tajikistan

Thailand

Timor-Leste

Tonga

Turkmenistan

Tuvalu

United Arab Emirates

Uzbekistan

Vanuatu

Viet Nam

Yemen

 

Annex III: Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC)

 

Antigua and Barbuda

Argentina

Bahamas

Barbados

Belize

Bolivia (Plurinational State of)

Brazil

Chile

Colombia

Costa Rica

Cuba

Dominica

Dominican Republic

Ecuador

El Salvador

Grenada

Guatemala

Guyana

Haiti

Honduras

Jamaica

Mexico

Nicaragua

Panama

Paraguay

Peru

Saint Kitts and Nevis

Saint Lucia

Saint Vincent and the Grenadines

Suriname

Trinidad and Tobago

Uruguay

Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of

 

Annex IV: Northern Mediterranean

 

Albania

Croatia

Cyprus

Greece

Hungary

Israel

Italy

Malta

Portugal

Slovenia

Spain

Turkey

 

Annex V: Central and Eastern Europe (CEE)

 

Armenia

Azerbaijan

Belarus

Bosnia and Herzegovina

Bulgaria

Georgia

Latvia

Moldova; Republic of

Montenegro

Republic of North Macedonia

Romania

Russian Federation

Serbia

Slovakia

Ukraine

 

Countries not belonging to a regional implementation annex

 

Andorra

Austria

Belgium

Brunei Darussalam

Canada

Czech Republic

Denmark

Estonia

European Union

Finland

France

Germany

Iceland

Ireland

Japan

Liechtenstein

Lithuania

Luxembourg

Monaco

Netherlands

New Zealand

Norway

Poland

San Marino

Sweden

Switzerland

United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland

United States of America

 

 

 

 

CLIMATE CHANGE COP HISTORY

 

1995 COP 1, BERLIN, GERMANY
1996 COP 2, GENEVA, SWITZERLAND
1997 COP 3, KYOTO, JAPAN
1998 COP 4, BUENOS AIRES, ARGENTINA
1999 COP 5, BONN, GERMANY
2000:COP 6, THE HAGUE, NETHERLANDS
2001 COP 7, MARRAKECH, MOROCCO
2002 COP 8, NEW DELHI, INDIA
2003 COP 9, MILAN, ITALY
2004 COP 10, BUENOS AIRES, ARGENTINA
2005 COP 11/CMP 1, MONTREAL, CANADA
2006 COP 12/CMP 2, NAIROBI, KENYA
2007 COP 13/CMP 3, BALI, INDONESIA

2008 COP 14/CMP 4, POZNAN, POLAND
2009 COP 15/CMP 5, COPENHAGEN, DENMARK
2010 COP 16/CMP 6, CANCUN, MEXICO
2011 COP 17/CMP 7, DURBAN, SOUTH AFRICA
2012 COP 18/CMP 8, DOHA, QATAR
2013 COP 19/CMP 9, WARSAW, POLAND
2014 COP 20/CMP 10, LIMA, PERU
2015 COP 21/CMP 11, Paris, France
2016 COP 22/CMP 12/CMA 1, Marrakech, Morocco
2017 COP 23/CMP 13/CMA 2, Bonn, Germany
2018 COP 24/CMP 14/CMA 3, Katowice, Poland
2019 COP 25/CMP 15/CMA 4, Santiago, Chile

2020 COP 26/CMP 16/CMA 5, to be announced

 

 

BIODIVERSITY COP HISTORY

 

COP 1: 1994 Nassau, Bahamas, Nov & Dec

COP 8: 2006 Curitiba, Brazil, 8 Mar

COP 2: 1995 Jakarta, Indonesia, Nov

COP 9: 2008 Bonn, Germany, May

COP 3: 1996 Buenos Aires, Argentina, Nov

COP 10: 2010 Nagoya, Japan, Oct

COP 4: 1998 Bratislava, Slovakia, May

COP 11: 2012 Hyderabad, India

EXCOP: 1999 Cartagena, Colombia, Feb

COP 12: 2014 Pyeongchang, Republic of Korea, Oct

COP 5: 2000 Nairobi, Kenya, May

COP 13: 2016 Cancun, Mexico, 2 to 17 Dec

COP 6: 2002 The Hague, Netherlands, April

COP 14: 2018 Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt, 17 to 29 Nov

COP 7: 2004 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Feb

COP 15: 2020 Kunming, Yunnan, China

 

 

 

Antonio Gutteras UN Secretary General

 

CREATURES OF HABIT - The United Nations is an organization that is finding it hard to persuade kleptocratic members to change their dirty energy and intensive farming habits that are collectively eroding soil for growing crops at an alarming rate. The reason being that their more prominent members are the biggest users of fossil fuels, with so much invested in oil and gas production that they cannot give up this source of wealth creation. Their shareholders want their dividends no matter how much it hurts the planet.

 

 

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LINKS & REFERENCE

 

https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/post2015/transformingourworld

https://www.unccd.int/

https://www.unccd.int/convention/about-convention

https://www.un.org/

 

 

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DESERTIFICATION IS WHERE AGRICULTURAL LAND IS DEGRADED TO THE POINT WHERE IT BECOMES A DESERT