• News
    •   November 2, 2011   
    • United Nations Works to Address Desertification
    • On Saturday, October 22 the two-week United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) concluded in Changwon, South Korea as over 6,000 delegates, scientists and other experts discussed ways to reverse desertification, land degradation, and drought, all of which have worsened due to climate change.

      The UNCCD estimates that 6 million hectares of forests are being destroyed annually, with some 24 million people who have had to leave their homes due to desertification in recent decades.

      Furthermore, a new United Nations report released during the summit stated that the Millennium Development Goals to reduce poverty cannot be achieved without responding to land degradation of vulnerable dry lands, which compose 40% of the world’s land area and support 2 billion people.

      With a shared goal of achieving zero land degradation by 2030, the meeting highlighted the importance of halting unsustainable land and water use.

      With a primary driver of land degradation worldwide being livestock grazing, delicate ecospheres like grasslands are even more susceptible to desertification. Acknowledging this, some delegates advocated for a change in agricultural practices away from meat consumption.

      To help achieve the Convention's goals, a first-ever set of monitoring tools was presented for use by participating countries, along with the Changwon Initiative, introduced by hosting nation South Korea to support follow-up work and encourage reforestation efforts worldwide.
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