A world in which we achieve land degradation neutrality will also be a world with improved biodiversity.
Human activity has already altered over 70 per cent of all ice-free land. In most terrestrial habitats, native species have greatly diminished in the last century, and up to one billion species are now at risk of extinction. Habitat loss to meet our demand for food, raw materials or buildings is the leading cause of species extinction. Conserving, restoring, and sustainably managing habitats and ecosystems is recognized as the most effective way to protect biodiversity.
One powerful example is the Great Green Wall. The Wall is an African-led initiative to restore biodiversity, rehabilitate Africa’s degraded landscapes, and transform millions of lives in the Sahel, by restoring 100 million hectares of land.
The UNCCD’s goal is a future that avoids any new degradation of land, reduces existing degradation, and restores already degraded land. Under the UNCCD, over 100 countries have pledged to reduce and reverse degradation on more than 450 million hectares of land by 2030, of which 250 million hectares is agricultural land. These actions would increase biodiversity on agricultural land. They would also protect the biodiversity at risk of extinction from the pressure to clear new land to meet the growing demand for food, animal feed and fiber for clothing.
of all ice-free land has already been altered by human activity
countries have pledged to reduce and reverse degradation on more than 450 million hectares of land by 2030