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UN: 24 milliard tons of fertile land lost every year

18.06.2019 10:26 "Agro Perspectiva" (Kyiv) Within his video message issued ahead of the World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought (marked Jun 17 annually), UN Secretary-General António Guterres warned that the world loses 24 milliard tons of fertile land every year, and that the degradation of land quality is responsible for a reduction in the national domestic product of up to eight per cent every year. «Desertification, land degradation and drought are major threats affecting millions of people worldwide,» said the UN chief, "particularly women and children, " Guterres said. As to him, it is time to «urgently» change such trends, adding that protecting and restoring land can «reduce forced migration, improve food security and spur economic growth», as well as helping to address the «global climate emergency». It is to be admitted, the World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought which raises awareness of international efforts to combat desertification, was established 25 years ago, along with the UN Convention to Combat Desertification, the sole legally binding international agreement linking environment and development to sustainable land management. This year the Day is running under the slogan «Lets grow the future together» and focuses on three key issues related to land: drought, human security and climate. As to Guterres, by 2025, two-thirds of the world will be living under «water-stressed» conditions — when demand outstrips supply during certain periods — with 1.8 billion people experience absolute water scarcity, where a regions natural water resources are inadequate to supply the demand. Migration is likely to boost as a result of desertification, so by 2045 it will be responsible for the displacement of some 135 million people. As to the report, Guterres stressed that the importance of ensuring of the land being well-managed is noted within the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, which declares that «we are determined to protect the planet from degradation, including through sustainable consumption and production, sustainably managing its natural resources and taking urgent action on climate change, so that it can support the needs of the present and future generations».

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