Loss of land threaten food security, says UN Environment Programme

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Up to 849 million hectares of natural land may be degraded by 2050 – UNEP

Hundreds of millions of hectares of natural land, nearly the size of Brazil, may be degraded by 2050 should current trends of unsustainable land use continue.

The warning comes from the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) in a report released at the World Economic Forum underway in Davos, Switzerland.

The agency says the need to feed a growing number of people globally has led more land being converted to cropland at the expense of the world's savannah, grassland and forests.

UNEP Executive Director, Achim Steiner, who is attending the Forum in Davos, says resources are becoming constrained.

"We are, for instance in the area of agriculture, where land is increasingly hitting a point where we have diminishing returns on an ever expanding agricultural production area. We are also destroying land losing soil fertility, facing also the challenge of water resources. And therefore, on the one hand, the release of the report on land is about the facts and the sign of what is happening on the planet and the necessity to try and redesign our economies." (24")

The UNEP report, titled "Assessing Global Land Use: Balancing Consumption with Sustainable Supply" was produced by the International Resource Panel.

The panel is a consortium of 27 internationally renowned resource scientists, 33 national Governments and other groups hosted by UNEP.

Derrick Mbatha, United Nations.

Duration:  1’35″

 

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