Sometimes referred to as ‘the bread basket of Georgia’, Dedoplistskaro’s fertile soils have provided a living for generations of farmers. But today, periods of drought, compounded by strong, dry winds that erode fields and scatter seeds, are hitting local communities hard.
Ex-soldier Valeri and his family have tried to laugh off the region’s warming weather. “Maybe we should bring camels here and make a tourist centre,” the 40-year-old quips with a smile.
But Georgia’s changing climate is no longer something to joke about for Dedoplistskaro’s farmers.
As vital to our existence as air or water, land is one of our greatest shared assets – and degradation of that land one our most pressing common challenges. Unchecked degradation threatens not only human wellbeing but that of the entire planet, contributing to accelerating climate change and loss of biodiversity. Today, with a quarter of our land already degraded and almost half the global population directly affected by land degradation, we are losing this precious resource at a time when we can least afford the social, economic or environmental impacts of this loss.
Over a decade ago, the Global Environment Facility (GEF), in close partnership with the World Bank, invested in what has become a landmark project for Africa and the world—the Great Green Wall Initiative (GGWI) in the Sahel. Today, with the involvement of a growing number of countries, international agencies, and local communities across the Sahel, life has started coming back to the land, bringing improved food security, jobs, and stability to people’s lives. There is an immense opportunity to build on this success by scaling-up investments for the GGWI.
Led by the UN Environment Programme, Participatory Sustainable Land Management in the Grassland Plateaus of Western Madagascar is a GEF-funded initiative tackling land degradation and demonstrating how participatory sustainable land management can neutralize watershed degradation, restore ecosystem services, conserve biodiversity and improve agricultural productivity.
Rosita Adalim is a farmer outside of Malaybalay City, in the Philippines’ Bukidnon Province.
Home to the biggest pineapple plantation in the world, Bukidnon Province is also the top cattle producer in the region. Known as the 'Food Basket of Mindanao,' Bukidnon is a farming economy, and therefore a major producer of rice, maize, and sugarcane. Bukidnon also boasts rich biodiversity and a vast array of endemic species of flora and fauna.
Government ministers from 196 countries, city and local leaders, non-governmental organizations, scientists and industry experts, are gathering in New Delhi, India from 2-13 September for the fourteenth session of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD COP14).
The main focus of the conference is finding ways to reverse land degradation while supporting a sustainable future for communities and ecosystems.
Land degradation is one of the world’s most pressing environmental problems, happening at an alarming pace, and it will worsen without rapid remedial action. Globally, about 25 percent of the total land area has been degraded. When land is degraded, soil carbon and nitrous oxide are released into the atmosphere, making land degradation one of the most important contributors to climate change. It is estimated that 24 billion tons of fertile soil were being lost per year, largely due to unsustainable agriculture practices.
- Nine Small Island Developing States in the Caribbean region have united to manage and eliminate toxic chemicals and waste
- The initiative is part of a larger program backed by $450 million in funding from partners, including $61 million from the Global Environment Facility
- Countries undertaking action in the Caribbean region include Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Belize, Dominican Republic, Guyana, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Suriname and Trinidad and Tobago