The UN head calls for stopping ‘destroying’ the Earth and helping the planet thrive

The UN said: “Every second, about 4 soccer fields on healthy land are degraded.” Secretary General António Guterres.

“The security, prosperity and health of billions of people rely on the rich lands that support lives, livelihoods and ecosystems, but we are destroying the Earth that sustains us.”

Desertification, land degradation and drought are currently among the most pressing environmental challenges.

Unite for the land

The theme of the day is Unite for the Land. Our heritage. Our futurehighlights the future of land management, the planet’s most precious resource, ensuring the stability and prosperity of billions of people around the world.

Healthy soil not only provides us with nearly 95% of the food consumed around the world, but much more. It clothes and shelters people, provides jobs and livelihoods, and protects communities from worsening droughts, floods and bushfires.

“As the focus of this year’s World Day reminds us, we must ‘Unite for the Land’,” he said. “Governments, businesses, academics, communities and more must act together.”

‘We know what we need to do’

Growing populations and unsustainable production and consumption patterns drive demand for natural resources, putting excessive pressure on land to the point of degradation.

At the same time, desertification and drought are driving forced migration, putting tens of millions of people each year at risk of displacement.

Of the eight billion people in the world, more than one billion young people under the age of 25 live in developing countries, especially in areas that depend directly on land and natural resources for their livelihoods. Creating employment opportunities for rural people is a viable solution to help young people access eco-business opportunities, while replicating best practices.

“We know what we need to do,” the UN chief said. “This is clearly stipulated in the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD). As we celebrate the 30th anniversary of the Convention, the world must significantly accelerate the pace of implementation.”

To do this, he pointed to building momentum towards the UNCCD Conference of States Parties (COP16) in Riyadh and ensuring youth are heard in the negotiations.

“Together, let’s sow the seeds for a prosperous future for nature and humanity,” he said.

Quick information

Women in Senegal work in tree nurseries established as part of the Great Green Wall initiative to improve living conditions, biodiversity conservation and land sustainability in the Sahel region .

NOOR for FAO/Benedicte Kurzen

Women in Senegal work in tree nurseries established as part of the Great Green Wall initiative to improve living conditions, biodiversity conservation and land sustainability in the Sahel region .

  • Every second, the equivalent of four football fields of healthy soil is degraded, a total of 100 million hectares per year
  • Every dollar invested in land restoration can yield a return of up to $30
  • In many countries affected by desertification, land degradation and drought, agriculture accounts for a high proportion of economic revenue.
  • Below UNCCDMore than 130 countries have committed to achieving land degradation neutrality by 2030, working towards a world where human activity has a neutral or even positive impact on land.
  • The UN supports innovation efforts around the world, including the newly launched initiative Great Green Wall Observatorytrack the progress of Africa’s largest land restoration initiative to combat land degradation, desertification and the negative impacts of climate change in the Sahel region
  • United Nations Education. Scientific and cultural organizations (UNESCO) has established an increasing development nation And Global “Geopark” network combines conservation and sustainable development, with 213 UNESCO Global Geoparks operates in 48 countries and counting
  • Learn more about how the UN is helping This

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