Bonn [Germany], April 28 (ANI): The restoration of the land by 2050 will add an additional 4 million square kilometres of natural areas, which is the size of India and Pakistan, the UN said in their report on chronic land degradation.
This was revealed in the second edition of the Global Land Outlook (GLO) from the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD).
“By 2050, an additional 4 million square kilometres of natural areas (the size of India and Pakistan); largest gains expected in South and Southeast Asia and Latin America. Protections would prevent land degradation by logging, burning, draining, or conversion,” the UNCCD report said.
This latest UN report offers an overview of unprecedented breadth and projects the planetary consequences of three scenarios through 2050— business, as usual, restoration of 50 million square km of land, and restoration measures augmented by the conservation of natural areas important for specific ecosystem functions.
GLO 2 report further reads, “By 2050, an additional 83 gigatonnes of carbon are stored as compared to the baseline. Avoided emission and increased carbon storage would be equivalent to more than seven years of total current global emissions.”
According to a report, the restoration of land and reducing the degradation, greenhouse gas emissions and biodiversity loss could economically return as high as USD 125-140 trillion every year, which is up to 50 per cent of the USD 93 trillion global GDP in 2021.
The report further reads that repurposing just USD 1.6 trillion of the annual USD 700 billion in the next decade in perverse subsidies, which are given to the fossil fuel and agricultural industries would help the governments to meet their current pledges which were to restore some 1 billion degraded hectares by 2030. The 1 billion hectares area would be the size of the USA or China, including 250 million hectares of farmland.
“Restoring land, soils, forests and other ecosystems would contribute more than one-third of the cost-effective climate change mitigation needed to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius while supporting biodiversity conservation, poverty reduction, human health and other key sustainable development goals,” report read.
The report stated that traditional and modern regenerative food production practices can enable agriculture to pivot from being the primary cause of degradation to the principal catalyst for land and soil restoration.
Immediate financial support is required to fund the conservation and restoration in the developing countries with a greater share of the global distribution of intact, biodiverse, and carbon-rich ecosystems, according to the report.
GLO 2 report stated, “Restoration projects and programs tend to have long-term multiplier effects that strengthen rural economies and contribute to wider regional development. They generate jobs that cannot be outsourced, and investments stimulate demand that benefits local economies and communities.”
The GLO 2 report has been in the making for five years with 21 partner organizations, and with over 1,000 references. (ANI)
GLO2 also mentioned hundreds of examples from around the world that demonstrate the potential of land restoration.
The report comes ahead of the UNCCD’s 15th session of the Conference of Parties to be held in Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire (COP15, 9-20 May).
“Modern agriculture has altered the face of the planet more than any other human activity. We need to urgently rethink our global food systems, which are responsible for 80 per cent of deforestation, 70 per cent of freshwater use, and the single greatest cause of terrestrial biodiversity loss,” Ibrahim Thiaw, Executive Secretary of the UNCCD, said.
“Investing in large-scale land restoration is a powerful, cost-effective tool to combat desertification, soil erosion, and loss of agricultural production. As a finite resource and our most valuable natural asset, we cannot afford to continue taking land for granted,” Ibrahim added. (ANI)