Life on land: Why it matters | Land Portal

Resource information

Date of publication: 
March 2021
Resource Language: 
ISBN / Resource ID: 
UNCCD:600000114

What’s the goal here?
To sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, halt and reverse land degradation, and halt biodiversity loss.
Two billion hectares of land on Earth are degraded, affecting some 3.2 billion people, driving species to extinction and intensifying climate change.

Goal 15: Life on land

Human life depends on the earth as much as the ocean for our sustenance and livelihoods. Plant life provides 80 percent of the human diet, and we rely on agriculture as an important economic resources. Forests cover 30 percent of the Earth’s surface, provide vital habitats for millions of species, and important sources for clean air and water, as well as being crucial for combating climate change.

Every year, 13 million hectares of forests are lost, while the persistent degradation of drylands has led to the desertification of 3.6 billion hectares, disproportionately affecting poor communities.

While 15 percent of land is protected, biodiversity is still at risk. Nearly 7,000 species of animals and plants have been illegally traded. Wildlife trafficking not only erodes biodiversity, but creates insecurity, fuels conflict, and feeds corruption.

Urgent action must be taken to reduce the loss of natural habitats and biodiversity which are part of our common heritage and support global food and water security, climate change mitigation and adaptation, and peace and security.

Facts and Figures
> Every year, 13 million hectares of forests are lost, while the persistent degradation of drylands has led to the desertification of 3.6 billion hectares, disproportionately affecting poor communities.
>1.6 billion - Around 1.6 billion people depend on forests for their livelihoods.
> 80% - Forests are home to more than 80 percent of all terrestrial species of animals, plants and insects.
> 2.6 billion - 2.6 billion people depend directly on agriculture for a living.
> 33% - Nature-based climate solutions can contribute about a third of CO2 reductions by 2030.
> $125 trillion - The value of ecosystems to human livelihoods and well-being is $US125 trillion per year.
> 60-80% - Mountain regions provide 60-80 percent of the Earth's fresh water.
> A recent UN report on biodiversity found that around 1 million animal and plant species are now threatened with extinction, many within decades, more than ever before in human history.
> Every year, some two million people, mostly in low- and middle-income countries, die from neglected zoonotic diseases. The same outbreaks can cause severe illness, deaths, and productivity losses among livestock populations in the developing world, a major problem that keeps hundreds of millions of small-scale farmers in severe poverty.
> In the last two decades alone, zoonotic diseases have caused economic losses of more than $100 billion, not including the cost of the COVID-19 pandemic, which is expected to reach $9 trillion over the next few years.

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The United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification in Those Countries Experiencing Serious Drought and/or Desertification, Particularly in Africa (UNCCD) is a Convention to combat desertification and mitigate the effects of drought through national action programs that incorporate long-term strategies supported by international cooperation and partnership arrangements.

 

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