Land Degradation Critical: 3.2 Billion in Degraded Conditions


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By Alex Wierbinski - Posted on 29 March 2018

 

Eco Crash News
Land Degradation Critical

3.2 Billion in Degraded Conditions

Worsening worldwide land degradation now 'critical,' undermining well-being of 3.2 billion people,
Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES), March 26, 2018.

"The dangers of worsening land degradation, causing the loss of biodiversity and ecosystem services, are detailed for policymakers, together with a catalogue of corrective options, in the three-year assessment report by more than 100 leading experts from 45 countries, launched today. Land degradation caused by human activities is undermining the well-being of two fifths of humanity, driving species extinctions and intensifying climate change. It is also a major contributor to mass human migration and increased conflict."

Assesment Report
"The dangers of land degradation, which cost the equivalent of about 10% of the world's annual gross product in 2010 through the loss of biodiversity and ecosystem services..."

"Serious Danger to Human Well-being"

"Rapid expansion and unsustainable management of croplands and grazing lands is the most extensive global direct driver of land degradation, causing significant loss of biodiversity and ecosystem services -- food security, water purification, the provision of energy and other contributions of nature essential to people. This has reached 'critical' levels in many parts of the world, the report says."

"Wetlands have been particularly hard hit..."We have seen losses of 87% in wetland areas since the start of the modern era -- with 54% lost since 1900."

What's Driving Degradation: The Corporate Growth Machine of Death

"Underlying drivers of land degradation, says the report, are the high-consumption lifestyles in the most developed economies, combined with rising consumption in developing and emerging economies. High and rising per capita consumption, amplified by continued population growth in many parts of the world, can drive unsustainable levels of agricultural expansion, natural resource and mineral extraction, and urbanization -- typically leading to greater levels of land degradation."

Nothing Left

"Less than 25% of the Earth's land surface has escaped substantial impacts of human activity -- and by 2050, the IPBES experts estimate this will have fallen to less than 10%."

"...land degradation is a major contributor to climate change, with deforestation alone contributing about 10% of all human-induced greenhouse gas emissions."

"By 2050, the combination of land degradation and climate change is predicted to reduce global crop yields by an average of 10%, and by up to 50% in some regions. In the future, most degradation will occur in Central and South America, sub-Saharan Africa and Asia."

 

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