Humankind currently faces interconnected, worldwide challenges of feeding our rapidly growing population while simultaneously preserving our natural resource base, adapting to climate change, and creating or maintaining favourable living conditions for present and future generations. The world’s population is growing exponentially. It is expected to rise from seven to more than nine billion people in the next few decades. Currently, around one-seventh of the world’s population – the so-called “bottom billion” – does not have a secure food supply, while an expanding middle class in rapidly developing countries is placing increasing
pressure on the limited natural resources available for food production. Projections indicate that agricultural production will have to increase by about 70% by 2050 in order to keep pace with population growth. This has far-reaching implications for the way we use and manage our agricultural lands.
Food production depends on the availability of fertile land, water, favourable climatic conditions, and related ecosystem services. At present, humans are overexploiting natural resources in many regions of the globe in order to obtain short-term benefits. This is leading to clearance of land, an increase in degraded ecosystems, and declining biodiversity.
Additionally, global warming is causing anomalies in rainfall patterns and is increasing the occurrence of extreme weather events like prolonged droughts, floods, and cyclones. In this way, climate change is aggravating pressure on land and water resources, increasing people’s vulnerability by affecting ecosystem resilience and food production potentials, particularly in marginal regions like the drylands in arid, semi-arid, and sub-humid climatic zones.
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CDE’s mission is to contribute to sustainable development in countries of the North, South, and East, through:
- research partnerships
- education and training
- development of concepts and tools
- raising awareness,
- policy advice.
CDE focuses on:
- management of natural resources,
- integrated regional development, and
Wageningen Environmental Research (also known as Alterra) is the Dutch research institute for our green living environment. We offer a combination of practical and scientific research in a multitude of disciplines related to the green world around us and the sustainable use of our living environment. Our expertise includes knowledge of water, nature, biodiversity, climate, landscape, forest, ecology, environment, soil, landscape and spatial planning, geo-information, remote sensing, flora and fauna, urban green, man and society etc.
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.