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