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Today, 86 per cent of the world’s population relies on ecosystem services rooted in soils. And estimates show that in the next decade, in Africa alone, an estimated 60 million people will be at risk of being forced to move from degraded land.

Governments need to put in place coherent land restoration policies that address environmental issues and make economic sense. This will help avoid communities affected by desertification being forced to migrate, which puts them at risk of radicalization or being targeted for their ethnicity.

Land restoration policies help stabilize countries and regions and ensure a viable future for all. Without such policies, many small-scale farmers,  poor rural people and land-dependent communities will face only two options: fight or flight.  

Given the current context of changing weather events which threaten the livelihoods of more and more people, survival options are declining and state capacities are overburdened.  

Much more should be done to combat desertification, reverse land degradation and mitigate the effects of drought. All of these issues result in social upheaval and instability. It is therefore vital to protect healthy and productive land thus ensuring enduring peace and security, especially in areas affected by land degradation, desertification and drought.   

At UNCCD we firmly believe that the health of the land plays an integral role in ensuring peace, security and stability. This is why all our policies and initiatives – from the Great Green Wall Initiative to the LDN Programme and the Drought Initiative –  aim to restore and protect the land, thereby avoiding the adverse environmental and social impacts of land degradation.  

It is crucial to restore and protect our land, so all of us can ensure a peaceful and secure future.

Related news

6.8

billion people depend on ecosystem services from the soil

60

million people in Africa could migrate due to land degradation

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