Pressure on some water, soil ecosystems at critical point: UN

The pressure on water and land ecosystems at the global level was intense and, in some cases, at a critical point, which might put the goal of feeding the world’s population by 2050 at risk, a UN report said Thursday.

The “State of the World’s Land and Water Resources for Food and Agriculture – Systems at breaking point (SOLAW 2021),” launched by the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), highlighted that around 33 per cent of the planet’s soil was marked by moderate to high degradation.

While the trends in resource use were on the rise, and so was soil degradation, the availability of new land to devote to agricultural production was low.

Adding the effects of climate change and loss of biodiversity would mean that “the current agrifood production patterns are not proving to be sustainable,” according to the report.

“Against this backdrop, it is clear that our future food security will depend on safeguarding our land, soil, and water resources,” FAO Director-General Qu Dongyu said.

“The same agrifood systems could play a crucial role in changing these patterns, alleviating the current pressures on water and soil ecosystems, and reversing the land degradation process,” he added.

“Sustainable agricultural practices could lead to direct improvements in the state of land, soil and water, generating ecosystem benefits and reducing emissions from land,” the FAO report said.

Yet, it added that only a “much-reformed land and water governance” would allow remedial land management.

“Any advance in transforming food systems to meet future demand will require a focus on land resource planning in which systemic analyses of land, soils, and water are combined with poverty and food security monitoring,” it said.

Source: United News of Bangladesh