The United Nations begins its 10-year push to increase awareness on and rouse action against desertification or the degradation of drylands.
Drylands make up 40 percent of the earth’s surface, are home to 2.1 billion people and support half of all livestock.
“Continued land degradation – whether from climate change, unsustainable agriculture or poor management of water resources – is a threat to food security, leading to starvation among the most acutely affected communities and robbing the world of productive land,” U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said Aug. 16 in a message to the Second International Conference on Climate, Sustainability and Development in Semi-arid Regions in Fortaleza, Brazil.
The conference saw the unveiling of the Decade for Deserts and the Fight against Desertification.
“Let us pledge to intensify our efforts to nurture the land we need for achieving the Millennium Development Goals and guaranteeing human well-being,” Ban added.