135 million people may be displaced by 2045 due to desertification

It is estimated that some 300 million hectares of land will be cleared due to increasing demand for food in sub-Saharan Africa, Central and South America if policies are not changed

Ground Report | New Delhi: Every year, more than 12 million hectares of land around the world are affected by drought, desertification, and land degradation. Not only this, coupled with climate change, large-scale changes in land for agriculture, cities, and infrastructure have affected more than 20 percent of the land so far. This means that the quality of some 200 million hectares of land in the world is no longer the same.

According to the United Nations Convention to combat desertification, said Some 135 million people may be displaced by 2045 as a result of desertification, It also covers 50 percent of the total agricultural land. Not only this, due to the degradation of dry land every year, 2400 million tonnes of fertile soil is destroyed annually worldwide. The biggest impact of which is on food production and economic activities.

If we talk about the importance of land, then it is the foundation of our society, which is the cornerstone of global food security, environment, poverty alleviation, cheap energy, and complete eradication of hunger. Although the success of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development depends on it, its existence is at risk due to limited resources.


12 million hectares of productive land become barren each year due to desertification and drought alone, which is a missed opportunity to produce 20 million tons of cereals. We cannot afford to continue degrading the land when we are expected to increase food production by 50% by 2050 to feed the entire world population, United Nations Convention report reads.

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Sustainable intensification of food production, with fewer inputs, avoiding further deforestation, and expanding cropland in vulnerable areas should be a priority for action by policymakers, investors, and small farmers. More than 250 SLM techniques that, in turn, combat land degradation and increase its resilience to drought and climate change are available only through the Convention. Land users in China, for example, have access to more than 1,000 SLM practices. SLM methods are cheap but long-lasting. With the right incentives, they can spread widely and quickly among land users.

However, according to the United Nations, about 100 million hectares of land can be rejuvenated in the next 10 years if there is political will. With this in mind, the President of the United Nations General Assembly, Volkan Bozkir, has organized a high-level dialogue on desertification, land degradation and drought, in which world leaders will together set the direction for the coming decade.

Amina J., Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations General Assembly. Mohammad has informed in the meeting that today our earth is facing three threats of climate change, biodiversity, and pollution. In such a situation, he has outlined four priorities in the meeting for the next decade, which include emphasizing land restoration, stopping illegal deforestation, investing in land-based solutions to overcome Covid-19, and tackling the climate crisis. 


It is estimated that some 300 million hectares of land will be cleared due to the increasing demand for food in sub-Saharan Africa, Central, and South America if policies are not changed. This will reduce biodiversity by 6 percent and release another 32 gigatons of carbon into the atmosphere. At the same time, the quality of the soil and its water holding capacity will also deteriorate, which will increase the chances of drought and floods.

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However, with the help of both restoration and conservation, with the help of the knowledge and information, we have so far, land management can be improved. This will help restore about 500 million hectares of land in the world. Due to this, the yield of crops will increase and the water holding capacity of the soil will improve. There will be an increase in carbon storage and a significant reduction in greenhouse gas emissions. This will not only reduce the loss of biodiversity but also increase the income of the farmers.

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  • Wahid Bhat

    Wahid Bhat is an environmental journalist with a passion for covering climate change and environmental issues. He holds a degree in English Journalism (EJ) from the Indian Institute of Mass Communication and has received Media Fellow for NFI India (National Foundation for India) and Thomson Reuters Foundation. Wahid's reporting has been published in a range of respected outlets including Earth Journalism, Global Village Space, The Quint, Youth Ki Awaaz, and Devdiscourse Wahidb@groundreport.in

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