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Desertification: the world is losing healthy land at an astonishing rate

Desert and mountains in Gobustan region, Azerbaijan
Nearly 13 per cent of Azerbaijan is deemed degraded, much is desert. Image: Denis Sv/Shutterstock

Data shows at least 100 million hectares of healthy land is lost each year to desertification, drought and land degradation. Can anything halt it?


By Tom Howarth

The UN Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) has launched its new ‘Data Dashboard’, a combination of reported figures on land degradation from 126 countries around the world.

Haven’t heard of the UNCCD? Don’t worry; even the most ardent climate activists might be unaware of its existence. Still, if there was ever a time to pay attention to the work the UNCCD does, this would be it.

According to the new global data, between 2015 and 2019, an area roughly twice the size of Greenland went from being healthy and productive to arid and degraded. That equates to approximately 100 million hectares of land per year.


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‘Land degradation is the result of human activities that exploit the land, leading to a decline in its utility, biodiversity, fertility and overall health,’ said Barron Orr, lead scientist for the UNCCD. ‘Our current land use and management practices are the main drivers of land degradation. They cause soil erosion worldwide at a rate up to 100 times faster than natural processes can replenish it.’

The Data Dashboard, Orr said, was launched to sound the alarm about the rapid degradation of land around the world.

And sound the alarm, it did. According to the UNCCD, an estimated 1.5 billion hectares of productive land have now been lost, impacting the lives of 1.3 billion people.

‘At current rates, 90 per cent of the land will bear our imprint by 2050,’ said Orr. ‘The effects of land degradation will be felt by most of the world’s population.’

Swampland in Latvia
The data bank reveals that 8.72 per cent of land in Latvia is degraded – much of it now swamp. Image: Viesturs Jugs/Shutterstock

Eastern and Central Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean were the worst hit, with more than a fifth of the total land area in these regions now being classified as degraded. Meanwhile, the rate at which land is being lost in sub-Saharan Africa, Western and Southern Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean is above the global average.

‘The Dashboard’s alarming figures highlight the need for urgent action as escalating land degradation continues to destabilise markets, communities and ecosystems around the world,’ Orr said.

It was against this backdrop that the UNCCD met in Uzbekistan from 13 to 17 November. The 21st session of the Committee for the Review of the Implementation of the Convention (CRIC21) brought together 500 delegates from 196 countries, the European Union, civil society and academia to reflect on progress made since the UNCCD was established in 1994.

On the agenda at CRIC21 was recognising sand and dust storms as a global issue, convening a Gender Caucus to strengthen women’s engagement in efforts to combat land degradation and making recommendations to inform the next UNCCD Conference of the Parties to be held in Saudi Arabia next year.

Crucially, CRIC21 acted as an opportunity to examine the progress made on the UNCCD’s land degradation neutrality (LDN) target, a process not too dissimilar to the Global Stocktake currently underway at COP28.

Cotton in  production has done much to degrade land in Benin
37.55 per cent cent of land in Benin is deemed degraded, much due to over-reliance on intensive cotton production./ Image: Shutterstock

The UNCCD defines LDN as ‘a state whereby the amount and quality of land resources necessary to support ecosystem functions and services to enhance food security remain stable, or increase, within specified temporal and spatial scales and ecosystems’.

In other words, the pattern of increasingly losing healthy and productive land as a result of our actions must be halted and, ideally, reversed.

To reach such a point, Orr explained, three simultaneous actions are required:

  • ‘Avoid further land degradation by maintaining existing healthy land;
  • Reduce existing degradation by adopting sustainable land management practices that can slow degradation while increasing biodiversity, soil health and food production;
  • And intensify efforts to restore degraded land to a natural or more productive state.’

 

Light at the end of the tunnel

Despite the bleak global figures, there are some so-called ‘bright spots’ to be found in the data.

In sub-Saharan Africa, Botswana has committed 45.3 million hectares – about three times the area of England – to LDN. Restoration efforts in the country have successfully reduced degraded land from 36 to 17 per cent of its territory.

Meanwhile, in the Dominican Republic, degraded land constituted 31 per cent of the total in 2019, down from 49 per cent four years earlier.

Tobacco field, Dominican Republic
Tobacco is one of the most destructive crops and is common in the Dominican Republic. Image: Shuttertock

Similar successes were reported in Uzbekistan, the host of CRIC21 and the country with the highest proportion of degraded land in Central Asia.

With wind in its sails following CRIC21, the UNCCD is looking to make its voice heard at COP28 in the United Arab Emirates. On day two of the conference, the International Drought Resilience Alliance (IDRA), which is supported by the UNCCD, announced eight new members had signed on to join, bringing the total to 36 countries and 28 organisations.

The UNCCD is also co-hosting the first ever ‘Land and Drought Pavilion’ at COP28. The Pavilion aims to curate high-level discussions on the importance of healthy land as a climate solution and the need for action on drought resilience.

‘The world’s land is a vital line of defence against climate change, acting as a carbon sink that regulates global temperatures,‘ concluded Orr. ‘At COP28, the UNCCD’s message is loud and clear – sustainable development is unattainable without the foundation of robust, healthy land.’

Geographical



101 Comments on "Desertification: the world is losing healthy land at an astonishing rate"

  1. Sissyfuss on Wed, 13th Dec 2023 1:55 pm 

    Human overshoot is making everything go to shit. Back to the caves, gentlemen.

  2. Dredd on Thu, 14th Dec 2023 8:46 am 

    Meanwhile the supreme people continue with their impunity (Sovereign Impunity: A Child of the Supreme People – 2).

  3. WhereAreMyGuns on Thu, 21st Dec 2023 3:03 pm 

    We are slaves for them. The pollution of mining minerals stay on earth the finish products copper, iron, cobalt leave earth. I have a strong suspicion that China is also producing goods for them. Some goods manufactured stay on earth and some leave earth. The manufacturing pollution stay on earth or in China and they get finish goods without the pollution.

  4. WhereAreMyGuns on Thu, 21st Dec 2023 3:13 pm 

    I also have a strong suspicion that they have ruined their own world and are moving on earth for survival purpose. I also suspect that we did not invent anything, they transfer their technologies to us like water treatments to make us slave for them. They are migration here berceuse they have destroyed their own world.

  5. WhereAreMyGuns on Thu, 21st Dec 2023 3:24 pm 

    I have to talk about China and about all the electronics stuffs I bought from them.

  6. WhereAreMyGuns on Thu, 21st Dec 2023 3:37 pm 

    I also suspect that they did on purpose to destroy the US and some Whites nations to stop them from consuming natural resources and redirect these naturals resources to China so China can produce goods for them. They have use the Jews, feminism, gun control, diversity, racism to destroy White nations so the can divert natural resources to China so China can continue to produce goods for them.

  7. WhereAreMyGuns on Thu, 21st Dec 2023 3:45 pm 

    China was admitted in the WTO 11 November 2001, two months after the world trade collapse building. They took the oil from Iraq and use it to build China as a manufacturing hub for them. The use the US military to take oil for Iraq to build China.

  8. WhereAreMyGuns on Thu, 21st Dec 2023 3:51 pm 

    I also suspect that they are trying to destroy the US trucking supply chain by using the EPA. The EPA has mandated the use of DEF fluid for diesel trucks engines. This is basically damaging diesel engines and makings your supply chain less efficient. It is a soft way to destroy your from the inside

  9. WhereAreMyGuns on Thu, 21st Dec 2023 4:15 pm 

    I also suspect that they are trying to destroy Ford and GM using the EPA mandats. They are forcing the cars manufacturers to put turbos and direct injection on small engines. These changes make these engines unreliable with a short life span therefore damaging the long term reputation of Ford and gm and kill these companies.

  10. WhereAreMyguns on Thu, 21st Dec 2023 4:36 pm 

    I also suspect they are trying to destroy Ford and GM pickup trucks line by making them unreliable and difficult to fix using EPA mandats. This will leave the municipalities without a reliable pickup truck and unable to keep cities functioning, therefore killing the population of Canada and the US.

    Something always happen when I go buy cigarettes. Today is no exception

  11. WhereAreMyguns on Thu, 21st Dec 2023 4:39 pm 

    I also suspect they are trying to destroy Ford and GM pickup trucks line by making them unreliable and difficult to fix using EPA mandats. This will leave the municipalities without a reliable pickup truck and unable to keep cities functioning, therefore killing the population of Canada and the US. The goal of destroying the US is to transfer the natural resources to China, so China can keep producing goods for them.

  12. WhereAreMyGuns on Thu, 21st Dec 2023 4:48 pm 

    I also suspect they are trying to destroy Ford and GM pickup trucks line by making them unreliable and difficult to fix using EPA mandats. This will leave the municipalities without a reliable pickup truck and unable to keep cities functioning, therefore killing the population of Canada and the US. The goal of destroying the US is to transfer the natural resources to China, so China can keep producing goods for them.

    They don’t want to allow Ford and GM to make something similar to the small pickup trucks we see in Japan. EPA is working at killing the US population

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nxWBLQwy5q0

  13. WhereAreMyGuns on Thu, 21st Dec 2023 4:53 pm 

    Another interesting thing you see only in Australia: road train. It seems to be done to speed natural resources extractions.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VNQ-Iq7h9Vw

  14. WhereAreMyGuns on Thu, 21st Dec 2023 4:57 pm 

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-WtT5eKRS3Y

    Australia road train seem to me like an efficient way to steal natural resources out of earth. After all, Australia has quit a lof of natural resources.

  15. WhereAreMyguns on Thu, 21st Dec 2023 5:02 pm 

    More Australia natural resources

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sAWo_DcRCvA

    They went up north in British Columbia to extract natural resources. How to you find such a copper mine in the middle of nowhere. You start digging from the inner earth until you reach earth, and then extrant the natural resources from earth.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vfbp2TrYlwk

    Notice how the dam is similar to Manicouagan dam. We did not invent anything, they gave us all this knowledge.

  16. WhereAreMyGuns on Thu, 21st Dec 2023 5:13 pm 

    I believe they destroyed their own world and are immigrating here for survival. It does not make sense to go to Anyox to extract copper. You will only do such a thing if you are desperate for natural resources. Earth is probable a copy of what they did in their own world.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vfbp2TrYlwk

  17. WhereAreMyguns on Thu, 21st Dec 2023 5:16 pm 

    Russia has one of the biggest nickel mine. It is so far up north that no roads leads there. Why would you that far up north for natural ressouces.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fiQjF-2mSkY

  18. WhereAreMyGuns on Thu, 21st Dec 2023 5:31 pm 

    Fucking bitch, you drag me into this again. fuck I hate you bitch.

  19. WhereAreMyGuns on Thu, 21st Dec 2023 7:23 pm 

    I am currently receiving a new skin. All my living spots are disappearing and my skin is turning whiteish. You better hope that you are dead before I come to get you and kill you.

  20. WhereAreMyGuns on Thu, 21st Dec 2023 10:09 pm 

    I am pretty sure that are stealing natural resources and food. Mining holes in the midle of the desert.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1WKqtBSxg5M

  21. WhereAreMyGuns on Thu, 21st Dec 2023 10:20 pm 

    This guy has a lot of videos of abandon mining sites in Canada. There are much more abandon mining sites that I thought;

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LB69UtD86Ac

  22. WhereAreMyGuns on Thu, 21st Dec 2023 10:34 pm 

    I don’t know where this guy find all these sites. I looks and behaves like a special force guy with some kind of special training.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yhlXJ0ughdk

  23. WhereAreMyGuns on Thu, 21st Dec 2023 11:30 pm 

    This is what I mean. They went into really hostile Nordic terrains to search for natural resources. Think of Anyox BC.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kYTM-d3kavA

    Notice he build himself a vehicle without computer in it for more reliability. What did I said about the EPA, they are in business of killing American people. EPA is not there to help you, it exist to kill you.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XaSIx9w4VGI

  24. WhereAreMyGuns on Thu, 21st Dec 2023 11:40 pm 

    They are stealing earth natural resources, food and manufactured goods from us. Does not matter where you live. THis is from some Asian nations.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iNRayPJPIXY

  25. WhereAreMyguns on Thu, 21st Dec 2023 11:53 pm 

    These guy have really capable machine to extract natural ressources for rough terrain. See at 5:44.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JANANewM-xc

  26. WhereAreMyGuns on Thu, 21st Dec 2023 11:56 pm 

    Notice the machine has no electronics computer in it. All mechanicals with levers to engage and disengage clutches.

    See at 5:44.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JANANewM-xc

  27. WhereAreMyGuns on Fri, 22nd Dec 2023 12:09 am 

    0:03 look at how capable these machines are with no computer on board.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FztQkd-g9m4

  28. eee on Fri, 22nd Dec 2023 12:32 am 

    Just for you personal info.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zah7aH0BWyk

  29. eee on Fri, 22nd Dec 2023 12:35 am 

    I am surprized that nobody came to kill me yet. I could become more powerful as an invisible being and seek revenge even more.

  30. eee on Fri, 22nd Dec 2023 12:40 am 

    I thought they would try to kill me with an illness but no nothing happened.

  31. eee on Fri, 22nd Dec 2023 4:16 am 

    When I said that the Prague university shooting event was a message from the invisible world to someone else, I need to clarify my thoughts. The polytechnique event was created to push gun control and feminism on Canadians. By creating another similar event to polytechnique event, we are sending the message that we are also able to modify earth reality by creating false event to push our agenda. This is basically a proof that the invisible world can control earth reality.

  32. eee on Fri, 22nd Dec 2023 4:21 am 

    As soon as I am capable I will cut the heads of all the jews in world and will float their heads 20 feet’s in the air as a warning to the world. Their heads will float up in the air until the destruction of earth as a eternal warning.

  33. eee on Fri, 22nd Dec 2023 4:47 am 

    I also believe the UK should be made an example for the creation of Israel.

  34. eee on Fri, 22nd Dec 2023 4:57 am 

    I also believe that every US politicians that has a double nationality: Israël and US all together, should be a heavy price for their treason toward the US.

  35. eee on Fri, 22nd Dec 2023 4:59 am 

    I also believe that every US politicians that has a double nationality: Israël and US all together, should pay an heavy price for their treason toward the US.

  36. ddd on Fri, 22nd Dec 2023 5:02 am 

    I did not ask for this. The people from the invisible world came to me. I am using the powers they gave me, like red faces, long necks, face moved forward.

  37. eee on Fri, 22nd Dec 2023 5:14 am 

    Why do you think I installed Sunak as prime minister of UK. Because UK created Israel. UK should be an heavy price for the creation of Israel. This is why I put Sunak as prime minister of UK. Sunak was installed by me to tell to UK that your time is up.

  38. ANAL EXTREME LUBE PROLAPSE CAPTURE SHOCK on Fri, 22nd Dec 2023 5:37 am 

    of course and we continue to pretend not to notice that most PO supertards just vanish poof

    we continue to say it is not due to MUZZ-19

    MUZZ-19 has semen from DROPOUT-19 in it. he mixes it in his basement using empty paint cans

    Please for the love of humanity and love of supremacist muzzies DO NOT MUZZ-19

    Elite whitey supertard Youtube star Diana Cowern MUZZ-19 herself with reckless abandonment then blame LONG CONVID-19

    elite whitey supertard Dustin of Smarter Everyday said it is the LONG CONVID

    Say hello to the big white eliphant in the room, the elephant name is MUZZ-19

  39. eee on Fri, 22nd Dec 2023 7:10 am 

    They are stealing food, natural ressources and manufactured good. They had a peleton wheel 22:38.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r8hKTvv0jUI

  40. eee on Fri, 22nd Dec 2023 10:27 am 

    I am so fed up to have to live in a reality where everything is a lie and the truth cannot be found anywhere you look.

  41. eee on Fri, 22nd Dec 2023 10:35 am 

    2:40 there is no fucking way this bitch can see her own réflexion in a mirror. GOD is fucking with all of you.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WT3dhyx8moY

  42. Elite whitey supertard Youtube star Diana Cowern MUZZ-19 herself with reckless abandonment then blame LONG CONVID-19 on Fri, 22nd Dec 2023 10:46 am 

    we’re not supposed to think of MUZZ-19 and CONVID-19

    ANAL EXTREME LUBE PROLAPSE CAPTURE SHOCK

    Nearly 100% of social influencers for the CONVID WENT TO SAINT PETERS

  43. NEARLY ALL SOCIAL INFLUENCERS FOR THE CONVID-19 WENT TO SAINT PETERS on Fri, 22nd Dec 2023 10:47 am 

    At least a dozen

    ANAL EXTREME LUBE PROLAPSE CAPTURE SHOCK

    Elite whitey supertard Youtube star Diana Cowern MUZZ-19 herself with reckless abandonment then blame LONG CONVID-19

  44. eee on Fri, 22nd Dec 2023 10:53 am 

    This is your natural ressources and manufactured goods leaving earth.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jf9IA1ABLFE

  45. NEARLY ALL SOCIAL INFLUENCERS FOR THE CONVID-19 WENT TO SAINT PETERS on Fri, 22nd Dec 2023 11:19 am 

    LOUIE KNUXX
    Technoblade
    Alfredo Martin
    Raechelle Chase
    Vanessa Manchini
    Luana Andrede
    Jenny Appleford
    Jeane Passos dos Santos
    Juliana Rocha
    Larissa Borges
    Candido Netto
    Jehanne Thomas
    Joe Linder

  46. WHY DOES ELITE SUPERTARD THEEDRICH REFUSE TO TALK ABOUT THE CONVID-19 on Fri, 22nd Dec 2023 11:40 am 

    he is an undercover elite whitey (((supertard))) Klaus Schwabb that’s why

    NEARLY ALL SOCIAL INFLUENCERS FOR THE CONVID-19 WENT TO SAINT PETERS

    LOUIE KNUXX
    Technoblade
    Alfredo Martin
    Raechelle Chase
    Vanessa Manchini
    Luana Andrede
    Jenny Appleford
    Jeane Passos dos Santos
    Juliana Rocha
    Larissa Borges
    Candido Netto
    Jehanne Thomas
    Joe Linder

    ANAL LUBE PROLAPSE CAPTURE SHOCK EXTREME

  47. eee on Fri, 22nd Dec 2023 12:15 pm 

    I am coming for you. I am receiving some kind of body update. My skin is really itchy and oily. All my liver spots are disappearing and I have some kind of white spots all over my body. Last night my legs where in pain. If feel like I was having bone surgery done on my legs. I am coming for you it is just a matter of time. It seems that I have receive a body update to support cold better. I can hold the steering of my car without clove at -15 degree Celsius on a cold start of my car.

    I am coming for all of you

  48. NEARLY ALL ELITE SUPERTARDS SOCIAL INFLUENCERS FOR THE CONVID-19 WENT TO SAINT PETERS on Sat, 23rd Dec 2023 12:38 am 

    ELITE WHITEY SUPERTARD PHYSICS GIRL DIANA COWERN YOUTUBER MUZZ-19 HERSELF WITH RECKLESS ABANDONMENT BLAME LONG CONVID-19

    LOUIE KNUXX
    Technoblade
    Alfredo Martin
    Raechelle Chase
    Vanessa Manchini
    Luana Andrede
    Jenny Appleford
    Jeane Passos dos Santos
    Juliana Rocha
    Larissa Borges
    Candido Netto
    Jehanne Thomas
    Joe Linder

    ANAL LUBE PROLAPSE CAPTURE SHOCK EXTREME

  49. NEARLY ALL ELITE PEAKOIL SUPERTARDS MUZZ-19 THEMSELVES WITH RECKLESS ABANDONMENT WENT TO SAINT PETERS on Sat, 23rd Dec 2023 12:40 am 

    what we have left here are just AI

    mourn for the demise of our supertards

    ANAL LUBE PROLAPSE CAPTURE SHOCK EXTREME

  50. NEARLY ALL ELITE PEAKOIL SUPERTARDS MUZZ-19 THEMSELVES WITH RECKLESS ABANDONMENT WENT TO SAINT PETERS on Sat, 23rd Dec 2023 12:54 am 

    If we had amputated elite whitey supertard thunderf00t we could’d saved so many elite supertards from MUZZ-19 and WENT TO SAINT PETERS

    ANAL LUBE PROLAPSE CAPTURE SHOCK EXTREME

    SUPERTARDS PLEASE CHANGE UR UNDIES AFTER 8 WEEKS

    PLEASE FEEL AT EASE AMONG FRIENDS WE’RE ALL LOVERS OF SUPREMACIST MUZZIES HERE

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