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

 

Gaza: Pledges For Aid, Reconstruction Must Be Honoured

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon (left) addresses the Security Council meeting on the situation in the Middle East, including the Palestinian question. Security Council President for the month of October, María Cristina Perceval of Argentina, is at ... More>>

Ebola: UN Prepares For Arrival Of Trial Vaccines

In early October 2014, with the help of the US Navy, a new mobile laboratory opened at Island Clinic, one of the WHO-supported Ebola Treatment Units (ETU) in Monrovia, Liberia. Photo: WHO/R. Sørenson More>>

Palestine: Human Rights Defender Abdallah Abu Rahmah Found Guilty

Human Rights Defender Abdallah Abu Rahma was found guilty by an Israeli military court of “disturbing a soldier”. More>>

NCRI: Iran: 13 Executions In One Day

The henchmen of the clerical regime hanged 13 prisoners on Sunday October 19, 2014 in Ghezel-Hessar Karaj Prison, Tabriz Central Prison and Rasht Central Prison. More>>


MSF: Ebola Crisis Update - 16th October 2014

16 October 2014 Cases Deaths Guinea 1,472 843 Liberia 4,249 2,458 Nigeria 20 8 Sierra Leone 3,252 1,183 Senegal 1 0 Total 8,994 4,492 WHO Figures - Data are based on official information reported by Ministries of Health. These numbers are subject to change ... More>>

ALSO:

Detroit: City-Backed Water Shut-Offs Contrary To Human Rights

20 October 2014 – The city of Detroit must restore access to water for its citizens who remain unable to pay their bills, two United Nations experts urged today, adding that a failure to do so would be a violation of the most basic human rights of those ... More>>

ALSO:

DR Congo: Head Of UN Mission Condemns Deadly Rebel Attacks

A MONUSCO APC is greeted by FARDC soldiers on their way back from the front line in the Beni region of the DRC where the UN is backing the FARDC in an operation against ADF militia. Photo: MONUSCO/Sylvain Liechti More>>

UNESCO Chief Denounces Killing Of Cambodian Journalist

17 October 2014 – The head of the United Nations agency tasked with defending press freedom today denounced the killing of a Cambodian reporter shot while investigating illegal logging in the eastern part of the country. More>>

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
World
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news