Promoting the sustainability of terrestrial ecosystems and halting desertification, land degradation and biodiversity loss. | Land Portal

Resource information

Date of publication: 
March 2021
Resource Language: 
ISBN / Resource ID: 
UNCCD:600000116

Facts and Figures:

➡ Every minute, 23 hectares of arable land are lost due to drought and desertification.
➡ Over the last two decades, approximately 20 per cent of the Earth’s vegetated surface has shown persistent declining trends in productivity, mainly due to unsustainable land and water use and management practices.
➡ Every year, 13 million hectares of forest are lost that are home to more than 80 per cent of all land-based species and which provide livelihood to 1.6 billion people.
➡ The increased vulnerability to environment stresses, especially of the poor, women and children, can lead to an intensified competition for scarce natural resources and result in migration, instability and conflict.
➡ Women and girls are disproportionately and differently affected by environmental degradation, pollution and natural and human-made disasters, and it is important to recognize the fundamental contributions of women to the conservation, protection and management of ecosystems and natural resources.
➡ Increased security of tenure and gender equity can be enabling factors for the adoption and scale up of more responsible land management practices.

Human activity has altered almost 75 per cent of the earth’s surface, squeezing wildlife and nature into an ever-smaller corner of the planet and increasing risks of zoonotic diseases like COVID-19.

Forests

* Around 1.6 billion people depend on forests for their livelihood, including 70 million indigenous people.
* Forests are home to more than 80 per cent of all terrestrial species of animals, plants and insects.
* Between 2010 and 2015, the world lost 3.3 million hectares of forest areas. Poor rural women depend on common pool resources and are especially affected by their depletion.
* Currently, land degradation has reduced productivity in 23 per cent of the global terrestrial area, and between $235 billion and $577 billion in annual global crop output is at risk as a result of pollinator loss.

Desertification

* Arable land loss is estimated at 30 to 35 times the historical rate
* Due to drought and desertification, 12 million hectares are lost each year (23 hectares per minute). Within one year, 20 million tons of grain could have been grown.
* 74 per cent of the poor are directly affected by land degradation globally.
* Habitat loss and deterioration, largely caused by human actions, have reduced global terrestrial habitat integrity by 30 per cent relative to an unimpacted baseline.

Biodiversity

* Illicit poaching and trafficking of wildlife continues to thwart conservation efforts, with nearly 7,000 species of animals and plants reported in illegal trade involving 120 countries.
* Of the 8,300 animal breeds known, 8 per cent are extinct and 22 per cent are at risk of extinction.
* Of the over 80,000 tree species, less than 1 per cent have been studied for potential use.
* Fish provide 20 per cent of animal protein to about 3 billion people. Only ten species provide about 30 per cent of marine capture fisheries and ten species provide about 50 per cent of aquaculture production.
* Over 80 per cent of the human diet is provided by plants. Only three cereal crops – rice, maize and wheat – provide 60 per cent of energy intake.
* As many as 80 per cent of people living in rural areas in developing countries rely on traditional plant-­‐based medicines for basic healthcare.
* Micro-organisms and invertebrates are key to ecosystem services, but their contributions are still poorly known and rarely acknowledged.
* While protected areas now cover 15 per cent of terrestrial and freshwater environments and 7 per cent of the marine realm, they only partly cover important sites for biodiversity and are not yet fully ecologically representative and effectively or equitably managed.

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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Data provider

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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