NUT Desk- UNITED NATIONS: The President of United Nations (UN) Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), Pakistani Ambassador Munir Akram, Monday said the degradation of one-fifth Earth’s land area was undermining the well-being of 3.2 billion people worldwide, driving species to extinction and intensifying climate change, and urged boosting of remedial steps.
“The effects of unsustainable land management practices and demographic pressure on land degradation and desertification are also being exacerbated worldwide due to the effects of climate change,” he said while speaking in the UN General Assembly’s High-level Dialogue on Desertification and Land Degradation.
These include — but are not limited to — changing rainfall patterns, increased frequency and intensity of drought and floods, rising temperatures, and profound ecological shifts, the ECOSOC chief said, pointing out populations’ abilities to generate livelihoods were becoming limited, particularly in the dry lands.
“This has also led to increased poverty, malnutrition, migration, political insecurity, and conflict,” he said while underscoring the urgency of the situation being created by the phenomenon of desertification and land degradation.
These losses resulted from direct and indirect factors, including deforestation, unsustainable agricultural practices, land use change and urbanization, Ambassador Akram said.
Noting that commitments to land restoration are estimated at 1 billion hectares, out of which 450 million hectares are committed through land degradation neutrality targets, he said the progress achieved thus far in that regard was highly encouraging.