Tackling land degradation


Photo credit: ISO.org


Standard for tackling land degradation takes step closer to publication

by Clare NadenClare Naden

We live in a world where growing populations, over-development and ever-changing climate patterns are taking a daily toll on the land around us. Droughts, floods, over-cultivation, deforestation, the draining of water supplies, and unsustainable practices in general, are literally pillaging our earth. But a new standard in development aims to help combat that, and has just reached a crucial stage.
Soil erosion, loss of fertility, declining biodiversity and reduced water supplies are all classic signs of land degradation and up to 20 % of the world’s drylands* and 25 % of cropland, pastures, forests and woodlands** are estimated to be negatively affected.

Everyone and everywhere are victims, because land degradation threatens our safe food and water supplies and has a significant impact on economies, most notably those in underdeveloped countries.

ISO/DIS 14055-1, Environmental management – Guidelines for establishing good practices for combating land degradation and desertification – Part 1: Good practices framework, details guidelines for establishing good practices to combat land degradation. It has recently reached Draft International Standard (DIS) stage, where national ISO member bodies are invited to vote and comment on the text before it moves to a final draft stage and publication.

Read the full story: ISO.org

Published by

Willem Van Cotthem

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