The connection between migration and land degradation

 

Photo credit: In Depth News

Photo: Burkina Faso: 20 000 trees are planted to create living hedges. Credit: UNCCD

UN Launches Campaign to Invest in Degraded Lands

By Rita Joshi

BONN (IDN) – The number of international migrants worldwide has continued to grow rapidly over the past fifteen years – reaching 244 million in 2015, up from 222 million in 2010 and 173 million in 2000.

Behind these numbers, says the Secretariat of the UN Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD), are the links between migration and development challenges, in particular, the consequences of environmental degradation, political instability, food insecurity and poverty.

The 2017 World Day to Combat Desertification (#2017WDCD) on June 17 will therefore look closely at the connection between migration and land degradation by addressing how local communities could build the resilience against existing multi-fold development challenges through combating desertification and land degradation.

UNCCD is mobilising global support with the rallying call: “Our land. Our home. Our Future.” The slogan draws attention to the central role productive land can play in turning the growing tide of migrants abandoning unproductive land into communities and nations that are stable, secure and sustainable, into the future.

The UNCCD has also released the campaign logo for use by any group, organization, government or entity that will organize a celebratory event for the Day. The new logo, designed by Beth Johnson, is an all-encompassing symbol of UNCCD’s endeavours.

It combines the key elements of the Convention in an elegant manner that can be instantly interpreted by an international audience. The elements are: the landscape representing land stewardship; the hand showing human presence; nature suggesting hope, progress and life; the circle symbolising an inclusive convention with global reach; the traditional UN laurel wreath demanding respect and demonstrating authority.

The backdrop to the new corporate logo is that following landmark decisions at COP 12 (conference of parties to the UNCCD) in Ankara, the UNCCD is set to become a driving force in achieving Sustainable Development Goal 15 “Life on Land” and target 15.3 on land degradation neutrality.

Read the full article: In Depth News

Combating desertification is not fighting against nature, but restoring a respect for it.

 

dust-storm-china

Dust obscures the Yellow Sea and the Sea of Japan (2001). Credit: Provided by the SeaWiFS Project, NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center, and ORBIMAGE

3 WAYS YOUR FOOD CHOICES COULD REVERSE DESERTIFICATION

Flash floods and desertification destroying arable land in Sudan

 

Photo credit: The Guardian

A community garden in Siraj Alnour village in Gedaref state, where farmers are benefiting from irrigation projects that can feed gardens and help to grow crops year-round. Photographs: Hannah McNeish

Farmers in Sudan battle climate change and hunger as desert creeps closer

Haphazard rains and increasing desertification in the eastern state of Gedaref are destroying previously fertile soil and leaving villagers unable to farm

Trees overlooked as a source of income for farmers

 

Photo credit: Science Daily

Farms near forests tend to have more trees, which provide income and other benefits for local people, such as these farmers in the buffer zone of W National Park, Benin.
Credit: Daniel Miller

Trees supplement income for rural farmers in Africa

Date:
January 23, 2017
Source:
University of Illinois College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences
Summary:
Trees may be easy to spot on the plains of Africa but they are often overlooked as a source of income for farmers. A new study shows trees on farms may help reduce rural poverty and maintain biodiversity. The study used satellite images showing forest cover and nationally representative household-level data gathered from in-person interviews in Ethiopia, Malawi, Nigeria, Tanzania, and Uganda.

 

Read the full article: Science Daily

Genetic variability and crops with superior genetic yield potential and stress adaptation

 

Photo credit: CIMMYT

Farmer Bida Sen prepares rice seedlings for transplanting in Pipari, Dang. Photo: P. Lowe/CIMMYT

New Publications: How to maintain food security under climate change

Wheat, rice, maize, pearl millet, and sorghum provide over half of the world’s food calories. To maintain global food security under climate change, there is an increasing need to exploit existing genetic variability and develop crops with superior genetic yield potential and stress adaptation.

Climate change impacts food production by increasing heat and water stress among other environmental challenges, including the spread of pests, according to a recent study published by researchers at the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT). If nothing is done to currently improve the crops we grow, wheat, maize and rice are predicted to decrease in both tropical and temperate regions. Wheat yields are already slowing in most areas, with models predicting a six percent decline in yield for every 1 degree Celsius increase in global temperature.

Read the full article: CIMMYT

Harvests in the United States are liable to shrink

 

Photo credit: Climate Home

(Pic: Pixabay)

Global warming to shrink US harvests, say scientists

Rising temperatures will lead to massive crop losses in the US, which will increase prices and cause problems for developing countries, says international study

By Alex Kirby

Harvests in the United States are liable to shrink by between a fifth and a half of their present size because of rising temperatures, an international scientific team has found.

They say wheat, maize (known also as corn) and soya are all likely to suffer substantial damage by the end of the century. And while increased irrigation could help to protect them against the growing heat, that will be an option only in regions with enough water.

Their report, published in the journal Nature Communications, says the effects of a warming atmosphere will extend far beyond the US. But as it is one of the largest crop exporters, world market crop prices may increase, causing problems for poor countries.

The lead author of the study is Bernhard Schauberger, from the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, Germany. He says: “We know from observations that high temperatures can harm crops, but now we have a much better understanding of the processes.”

Read the full story: Climate Home

Reversing desertification

 

Photo credit: GGW Gambia

How do we reverse desertification?

Desertification is yet another consequence of climate change that takes a great toll on biodiversity, natural resources and, ultimately, the lives of people who inhabit drylands. Along with measures to curb and compensate it, there are several solutions for bringing life back to arid lands. It is called “reversing desertification”, and it has a great deal to do with permaculture.

In 1989, in “La Chanson d’Azima”, French singer France Gall sang: “When the desert advances / Life flees / It is our decline / An impossible fight.” The song ended with these alarming words of caution: “The night is falling / Upon this dreadful emergency / And it is towards our tombstones / That the desert advances.” In the Seventies and Eighties, desertification and aridification became important concerns, as people became increasingly aware about human-induced climate change. 25 years later, desertification remains a major ecological and environmental problem. But thankfully, it is not an irreversible phenomenon. In an attempt to counter France Gall’s pessimism, here are some positive actions we can take to reverse deforestation.

THE ANTHROPOGENIC CAUSES OF DESERTIFICATION

But first, let’s briefly define the concept of desertification, and the main challenges it poses. According to the Princeton University Dictionary, desertification is “the process of fertile land transforming into desert typically as a result of deforestation, drought or improper/inappropriate agriculture.” There are thus various causes, but the bulk of them are human-induced. For example, tillage for agriculture, overgrazing, and deforestation for fuel or construction materials. However, vegetation loss is the primary cause of desertification, as plants play a major part in retaining water and enriching the soil.

Read the full story: Great Green Wall Gambia