Study: Agriculture has been the third of suitable agricultural land is exhausted

Each year 24 billion tonnes of fertile soil is lost, while the demand for food continues to rise. The risk of violent conflict.

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In the past thirty years the consumption of natural resources has doubled worldwide and the demand for food continues to increase. But at the same time, a third of the land suitable for agriculture is already seriously degraded, mainly as a result of industrial agriculture. This is evident from the Global Land Outlook (GLO), an extensive study commissioned by the UN.

15 billion trees

Each year, 15 billion trees lost and disappears 25 billion tons of fertile soil. More than 1.3 billion people are trapped in deteriorating agricultural land, making the competition for food, water and energy drastically increases.

Small farmers, women and indigenous communities, according to the report, the most vulnerable, because they are very dependent on the income of their country, and difficult access to infrastructure and economic development.


Land degradation and drought are global challenges that are directly related to most aspects of health and well-being.

“Land degradation and drought are global challenges that are directly linked with most, if not all, aspects of safety and wellbeing, especially food security, employment and migration”, said Monique Barbut of UNCDD, the authority on the UN convention against desertification is to ensure, at the presentation of the report. “If the supply of healthy and productive land dries up and the population grows, the more the competition, within states but also worldwide.”

Trends of times

But the problem is also the solution, the study. If the current trends are turned may be due to more efficient planning and sustainable agricultural practices, can also develop in the framework of the sustainable development goals (SDG’s) to accelerate.

“More than 250 million people now directly affected by desertification, and one billion people in more than hundred countries are at risk,” says Achim Steiner, executive director of the UN environment programme. “Among them are many of the poorest and most marginalized people in the world. By the loss of land to stop, we can have a healthy and productive life to everyone, including water and food security. The report reveals that everyone the difference it can make.”

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