The UN Secretary-General, António Guterres has called for an urgent action to protect and restore the world’s degrading land in a bid to reduce forced migration, improve food security and address the global climate change emergency.
Guterres made the call in his message to the 2019 World Day to Combat Desertification and the 25th anniversary of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) in Ankara, Turkey.
The UN scribe who noted that the world was losing 24 billion tons of fertile soil and dry land to degradation, added that this had reduced national domestic product in developing countries by up to eight per cent annually.
Guterres also said that much remained to be done.
According to the UN scribe, the imperative of combating desertification is part of efforts to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.
It would be recalled that the international community adopted the Convention to Combat Desertification in Paris on June 17, 1994 out of concerns that “desertification and drought are problems of global dimension affecting all regions.”