It is essential to increase yields and to conserve land

Sector Project to Combat Desertification

by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) – Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ)

The sector project Land degradation, especially in arid regions (desertification), is a growing challenge for development policy in all parts of the world. The Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) was adopted by the United Nations in Rio in 1992. Germany has been an active supporter of the Convention from the start and hosts its secretariat. The Sector Project to Combat Desertification assists the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), Germany‘s UNCCD focal point, in developing policies and strategies relating to all aspects of land degradation and desertification. The Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH has been commissioned to implement this sector project.

What challenges do we face?

In light of the constantly growing world population, food production needs to increase by 50-70 per cent by 2050 to ensure food security. Yet soil loss and land degradation are advancing – a quarter of the world’s land surface has become degraded in the past 25 years and each year a further 20 million hectares are affected. Therefore, in order to achieve long-term development goals it is essential to increase yields and at the same time to conserve land and soils, which form the basis of agricultural production. The causes of land degradation must be tackled and political conditions must be improved to provide greater incentives for sustainable land management. Promising existing schemes must be boosted and extended.

Read the full article: GIZ

Author: Willem Van Cotthem

Honorary Professor of Botany, University of Ghent (Belgium). Scientific Consultant for Desertification and Sustainable Development.

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