World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search

 


UN agency calls for urgent action to protect global soil

UN agency calls for urgent action to protect global soil from depletion, degradation

24 July 2014

The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) is calling for urgent action to improve the health of the world's limited soil resources to ensure that future generations have enough supplies of food, water and energy.

"Soil is the basis for food, feed, fuel and fibre production," Maria Helena Semedo, FAO Deputy Director-General, said in a news release issued today.

"Without soils we cannot sustain life on earth and where soil is lost it cannot be renewed on a human timeline. The current escalating rate of soil degradation threatens the capacity of future generations to meet their needs.”

Government officials and experts are meeting today in Rome for a three-day meeting of the Global Soil Partnership – which brings together a broad range of stakeholders stressing the need for governments to preserve soil. Under its Global Plans of Action, leaders have endorsed a series of measures to safeguard soil resources through strong regulation and investment.

"We need commitments from countries and civil society to put the plan into reality. This requires political will and investments to save the precious soil resources our food production systems depend on," Ms. Semedo said.

Experts at the conference warn that some 33 per cent of world soil is already moderately to highly degraded due to erosion, nutrient depletion, acidification, urbanization, and chemical pollution.

And the growing global population – which is expected to exceed 9 billion by 2050, resulting in a 60 per cent increase in the demand for food, feed and fibre – will put an even greater strain on land resources.

Soil represents at least a quarter of global biodiversity, and plays a key role in the supply of clean water and resilience to floods and drought. Plant and animal life depend on primary nutrient recycling through soil processes.

Some parts of Africa and South America do offer a scope of agriculture expansion. In that regard, innovative technologies and inclusive policies must empower local communities to protect their land resources, FAO says. The sustainable management of soil will also have positive impact on climate change through carbon sequestration and a reduction of greenhouse gas emissions.

Progress is in the works, FAO noted. A global soil information system is planned to measure progress made and the status of soil resources. Considering that awareness-raising and education on soil is much needed, a special programme for capacity development is also being implemented.

In addition, the first ever Status of World Soil Resources Report is set to be launched on 5 December 2015 – recently designated UN World Soil Day. The UN has also declared 2015 as the International Year of Soils to shine the international spotlight on the challenges.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
World Headlines

 

Amnesty: Campaign Mass Hangings And Extermination At Syrian Prison

A chilling new report by Amnesty International exposes the Syrian government’s calculated campaign of extrajudicial executions by mass hangings at Saydnaya Prison. Between 2011 and 2015, every week and often twice a week, groups of up to 50 people ... More>>

Russian Hack Job?: White House - Actions In Response To Russian Malicious Cyber Activity & Harassment

President Obama authorized a number of actions in response to the Russian government’s aggressive harassment of U.S. officials and cyber operations aimed at the U.S. election in 2016. More>>


Israel/Palestine: Michael Field - Background To How Israel Nearly Went To War With New Zealand

New Zealand and Senegal managed to get the United Nations Security Council to pass resolution 2334 which said Israel’s settlements in Palestinian territory violate international law and undermine a two-state solution in Israel's conflict with Palestine. More>>

ALSO:

US Indigenous Affairs: How President Obama Has Protected Our Sacred Land

I am very proud to be both Navajo and American. As the President of the Navajo Nation, I’ve dedicated my life to ensuring that, as a Navajo, my story -- and our stories -- are part of our collective American history. Today, I want to share one of those stories with you. More>>


Binoy Kampmark: The Berlin Truck Attack And The Refugee Question

The hard-nosed neo-cons were certainly showing little interest in linking arguments, examining evidence, or even considering elementary logic in the aftermath of the Berlin truck attack near the Gedächtniskirche. With the bodies fresh in the morgue, former US ambassador to the United Nations, John Bolton, peered into the mind of the everyday German, and found teeth chattering fear. More>>

Demonetisation: Gordon Campbell On India’s Huge Socio-Economic Experiment

Without much coverage at all in the West, India has just been engaged for the past few weeks in one of the world’s biggest socio-economic experiments since the Cultural Revolution in China. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The Death Of Fidel Castro

New Zealand likes to think we played our part – via the 1981 Springbok tour – in bringing the apartheid regime in South Africa to an end… Jacob Zuma treated the death of Fidel Castro at the weekend as an occasion to pay a heartfelt tribute to the thousands of Cuban soldiers who travelled across the world to inflict the first significant military defeat on the forces of white supremacy. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
World
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news