The disruption in food, water and sustainable energy for good land management

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The disruption in food, water and sustainable energy for good land management

01st, September 2019    -    News

India hosts the 14th United Nations Convention on Combating Desertification (UNCCD) Conference of Parties (COP14). Government delegations from all over the globe will meet from 2 to 13 September to review the progress and difficulties ahead of the 25-year-old international agreement linking environment and growth with sustainable land  management


The theme of the conference ' Restoring Land to Sustain Life ' draws attention to the criticality of land for water, power and food supply: the nexus that places sustainable land management at the basis of local and international initiatives towards the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).


Global Land Outlook for the first time in 2017 summed up the big picture. Land is under pressure with quickly escalating competition for food, water, power, and settlements between land and soil for the ecological services that control all life on Earth.Globally over 1.3 billion people are trapped on degrading agricultural land, and these dryland farmers have limited options for alternative livelihoods and accessing wider infrastructure and economic development. Biodiversity loss and climate change further undermine the productivity and health of land.


The Climate Change Intergovernmental Panel (IPCC) has just published its unique report on climate change and land. An approximately 23% of total greenhouse gas emissions from Agriculture, Forestry and Other Land Use (AFOLU). The rise in temperature above ground doubles the rise in the worldwide mean. Higher ground temperatures lead to desertification (water scarcity), soil degradation (erosion, loss of vegetation, wildfire, etc.) and decreasing food safety (crop yield and instability of food supply).


Land competition is expected to further escalate, especially in South Asia and other areas with greater population density and development, reduced per capita revenue, greater water stress and greater loss of biodiversity. Sustainable land management is needed in order to prevent and reduce land degradation and maintain its productivity, with the possibility of reversing the adverse effects of climate change on land in some cases. The goal is not another net loss of healthy and productive land, a concept known as neutrality of land degradation. With landscape-level interventions that balance biological and economic efficiency, boost ecosystem and community resilience, and handle rural-urban interfaces, this is feasible. This will only be feasible in the manner we eat, generate, operate and live together with transformations.


Changes are particularly required at all phases of the food scheme: more effective primary production in terms of water, soil and other inputs; better processing, storage and preparation of food waste; changing diets and lifestyles; and generating extra wealth from the inevitable remaining waste. The work of the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) shows that innovations are required and indeed forthcoming in India as well.


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