By- OLUWATOISN O. Oluwatosn (UNU-EHS M.Sc Student)
Photo Creidt: By- Garett Gabriel
When resources are degraded, we start competing for them. […] So one way to promote peace is to promote sustainable management and equitable distribution of resources – WANGARI MAATHAI
Over the years, humans have dominated the world with remarkable transitions and inventions across all spheres of life. However, its influence in stopping the increasing degradation of land still proves to be ineffective. Land is everything and it’s one of the world’s most appreciable assets. Nonetheless, the complex interaction between social, economic, and environmental factors has been adversely shaping its condition, which calls for immediate action. Climatic variation and human activities in particular, remain a common land degrading challenge globally.
Fertile agricultural lands matter and this is precisely the reason why every 17th of June, the world celebrates a day to combat desertification. It is a day to remind ourselves that the sole asset man has lived on is dilapidating and this comes with consequences. This year’s theme “Land has true value, invest in it” calls for an active input from all stakeholders globally to combat further degradation of land. This is in consideration of the agricultural needs of 7 billion people requiring large quantities of agricultural land, and its impacts on people relying on agriculture for their livelihoods.
The emergence of land degradation emerged as a major global concern some decades back and has received special focus since the conference by United Nations Conference on Environment and Development. With the loss of 12 million hectares of land yearly affecting about 1.5 million people globally, there is no doubt that our inaction would result into further negative consequences.
Another possible result of continued land degradation is migration. Migration is one of the many means adopted by people who solely or partially depends on produce from farming practices. Similarly, the movement of displaced farmers can lead to urban sprawl and over-congestion, especially in major cities of both affected and neighbouring countries.
Considering the impacts of this modern global challenge, the effort of saving our planet earth is not a one man or agency ordeal. The active involvement of all stakeholders in addressing one of its most pressing human issues—the degradation and desertification of our land—is paramount.