Up to 40% of Earth's land degraded: UN report
United Nations, April 28 (IANS) Up to 40 per cent of Earth's land is degraded, which threatens nearly half of the global gross domestic product, or $44 trillion, according to a UN report released.
If current practices continue through 2050, there could be an additional degradation of an area almost the size of South America, warns the UN Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) report on Wednesday.
The report, "Global Land Outlook 2," also makes recommendations for decision-makers on ways to invest in land restoration, climate change mitigation and poverty reduction, Xinhua news agency reported.
It gives both stark warning and hundreds of practical ways to affect local, national and regional ecosystem restoration. It shows how restoring land means restoring life, economies, communities, climate, health, etc.
Five years in development, with 21 partner organisations and more than 1,000 references and 250-plus global case examples, the report is the most comprehensive consolidation of information on the topic ever assembled, the UNCCD said.
The study was released ahead of the 15th session of the Conference of Parties to the UN Convention to Combat Desertification on May 9-20 in Abidjan, Cote d'Ivoire.
The UNCCD described land degradation as the persistent or long-term loss of land-based natural capital. It gives rise to poverty, hunger, and environmental pollution while making communities more vulnerable to disease and disasters like drought, floods, or wildfires.