Land degradation: our mother Earth needs love and nourishment

Land degradation: how we have sucked the life from it

When we talk about land degradation, the causes are to be found – once again – in human activity. The expansion and unsustainable management of agriculture, propelled by extraordinary levels of consumption on a global scale is currently showing its real consequences. Some of the most serious are definitely the loss of biodiversity and ecosystem resources, like food security, water purification and the provision of energy. So this process is now directly affecting – and possibly undermining – the welfare of half the population of the planet. 

Land degradation: meaning and solutions

The effect of land degradation manifests itself in many ways: land abandonment, declining populations of wild species, loss of soil, reduction of rangelands and fresh water, deforestation. Last but not least, land degradation may be a majour contributor to climate change with deforestation being a massive source of greenhouse gases. The release of carbon previously stored in the soil – caused by land erosion – is definitely responsible for massive annual global emissions of co2. How can we restore the land and reverse degradation? We need to develop green infrastructures, heal contaminated land and cultivate and harvest responsibly. We need to hold governments accountable so that they encourage sustainable production and consumption. Finally it’s important that we spread awareness through open-access information on the impacts of traded goods. But we have to act quickly because less than one quarter of Earth’s land surface remains free from substantial human impacts. And by 2050 it will be less than 10%, according to projections.