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Land and water ecosystems, ‘stressed to a critical point’ 

Entitled, State of the World’s Land and Water Resources for Food and Agriculture – Systems at breaking point (SOLAW 2021), the report highlights the challenges that lie ahead in feeding a global population that should near ten billion by 2050.

At the launch of the publication, FAO Director-General, QU Dongyu, said that “current patterns of agrifood production are not proving sustainable.” Yet, he added, these systems “can play a major role in alleviating these pressures and contributing positively to climate and development goals.”

Main findings: If the world keeps to the current trajectory, producing the additional 50 per cent
more food needed, could mean an increase of 35 per cent, in the water withdrawals needed for farming. That could create environmental disasters, increase competition for resources, and fuel new social challenges and conflicts.

Currently, human-induced soil degradation affects 34 per cent (around 1,660 million hectares), of agricultural land. Even though more than 95 per cent of all food is produced on land, there is little room for expanding the area that can be made more productive. In fact, urban areas
occupy less than 0.5 per cent of the Earth’s land surface, but the rapid growth of cities has significantly reduced resources, polluting and encroaching on prime agricultural land. In only 17 years, between 2000 and 2017, land use per capita declined by 20 per cent.

 UN News 9th Dec 2021

 https://news.un.org/en/story/2021/12/110753

January 1, 2022 - Posted by | 2 WORLD, environment

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