12 Feb 2018 Story Forests

#FridayFact: Every minute, we lose 23 hectares of arable land worldwide to drought and desertification

Drought, desertification, urban sprawl and uncontrolled grazing are harming the land that provides us with food on our plates.

Yet UN Environment is working with partners to turn the tables, to prevent land degradation and restore degraded land back to full health.

These projects on sustainable land management are worth $70.5 million and take place across the globe.

In Georgia for example, 60% of agricultural land is rated by the country as being of low or middle quality for producing food, while 35% is degraded.

UN Environment is therefore helping to train farmers, tighten up legislation and run demonstration projects there, showing how good soil quality and incomes can go hand in hand.

It is expected that laws will be amended to better protect soil quality, while best practices for windbreak and pasture management will be shared on the ground.

As a result, this is expected to boost ecosystem health and reduce vulnerability to climate change, while farmers will benefit from improved soil quality. Women play a critical role in farming and are at greater risk of falling into extreme poverty, so will greatly benefit from the project.

Read more on this work – which is funded through the Global Environment Facility – here. Discover statistics on the environmental challenges and solutions related to the Sustainable Development Goals here. Learn more about the causes and solutions to land degradation in the sixth Global Environment Outlook for the pan-European region here.

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UN Environment in Europe brings you #FridayFacts showing how our work and that of others concretely helps moves towards sustainable societies.