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UN SDG 15: Alert on soil degradation and its impact on humans

Unreasonable land management causes soil degradation by causing pollution, erosion, soil depletion, loss of nutrients and productivity.


UN SDG 15: Alert on soil degradation and its impact on humans
Scientific journal Nature Climate Change said in January that a quarter of the world's soils would become "significantly" drier. (Image credit: Wikipedia)

The first-ever global study on the deterioration of the soil of the planet that degrades water, food, in short, the well-being of humans to the point of compelling them to migrate.

"Soil degradation is not an isolated problem: it affects many regions and people around the world, it affects food production, water quality and when the land is degraded, often people migrate, "said the scientist Robert Watson on Le Point.

This report was produced by about 100 volunteer researchers from 45 countries on behalf of the Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES).

Land degradation, which is part of this ominous panorama, can mean that "there is no more arable land and therefore a loss of livelihoods," said Watson, chairman of the committee, as per Le Point.

The IPBES, created in 2012 at the initiative of the UN and which now has 129 member countries, has already made Friday a worrying diagnosis on the state of the planet's biodiversity, overexploited by humans who threaten their own well being by causing the decline of fauna and flora.

Scientists and policy-makers from 116 IPBES countries, meeting in Medellin, Colombia, warned of the risks of a massive extinction of species.

A question of survival

According to Le Point, like the Biodiversity Study, the report has asked for three years of work and compiles all the recent scientific literature on this topic, treated for the first time on a global scale, Its realization cost about 810,000 euros (one million USD).

"It was a request from the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (CLD), told AFP Anne Larigauderie, executive secretary of IPBES." They urgently needed a report on the land degradation to take action, "she said.

The theme is paramount to the very survival of humans, 95 percent of food comes directly or indirectly from the land, according to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).

"With a global population expected to exceed nine billion by 2050, coupled with the struggle for land and water resources, as well as climate change, our current and future food security is based on our ability to increase yields. and the quality of food using soils that are already in production, "she warned in a 2015 report, as per Le Point.

Unreasonable land management causes soil degradation by causing pollution, erosion, soil depletion, loss of nutrients and productivity.

Degradation starts with the "transformation of all original vegetation, which can be the conversion of a forest into agricultural land from a mangrove to a shrimp farm," Watson said.

According to Le Point, beyond the diagnosis, however, the IPBES should also give recommendations to curb the phenomenon, as they did for the protection of species.

"One of our goals is to highlight the fact that it is possible to act and that governments have tools at their disposal to do this," said Larigauderie.

A study published in the scientific journal Nature Climate Change said in January that a quarter of the world's soils would become "significantly" drier even if humanity succeeded in limiting its warming to two degrees, the goal set by the Paris Agreement.

As the earth becomes more arid, it is degraded. This favors droughts, fires, desertification, and air pollution through the death of air-absorbing plants and trees that are responsible for climate change.


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