The representative of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) to Iran says land restoration offers multiple pathways towards a green recovery which is the key to respond to desertification as a global challenge.
Speaking on Saturday at an event on the occasion of the ‘World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought’ in Tehran, Gerold Bodeker said: “Every year, on June 17, the global community celebrates World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought to promote public awareness on international efforts made in this regard.”
“The theme for this year’s commemoration is 'Restoration. Land. Recovery. We build back better with healthy land', which strongly calls for compensatory and remedial action to restore our invaluable lands,” he added.
“The way we produce and consume food, fiber, water, energy and raw materials are rapidly depleting Earth’s finite stock of natural capital,” the FAO representative said.
“We are losing more value than we produce. Between 1997 and 2011, land-use changes caused losses averaging 20 trillion USD of ecosystem services every year. Land degradation alone accounted for 30% of that, which is three times the global market value of agricultural products,” he added.
“On the one hand, over a quarter of greenhouse gases arise from agriculture, forestry, and other land uses, and on the other hand, it is estimated that by 2050, global crop yields will have fallen 10%, with some regions suffering a reduction of up to 50%,” Bödeker said.
“Land restoration offers multiple pathways towards a green recovery which is the key to respond to desertification as a global challenge and a proven and cost-effective strategy that can jumpstart a green economic recovery creating green jobs, uplifting rural communities, and delivering significant benefits for human health, biodiversity, and climate change,” the FAO representative said.
“We have the required tools to achieve this - responsible land governance, investments that protect and restore nature, and coherent, long-term policies and incentives - and most importantly, the lessons from past experiences that must be the foundation of the actions we take in the future,” he noted.
“Regenerative agriculture and restoring natural systems need a combination of traditional and modern practices. It requires old skills to be more widely learned and new skills to be widely introduced for emerging jobs and those being repurposed for greener outcomes,” said Bodeker.
“FAO, as the lead UN agency in promoting resilient agricultural development, concentrates on solutions that we can find in nature to tackle complex challenges and supply our needs in a sustainable way,” he concluded.
Iran’s Ministry of Agriculture has organized an event on Saturday to review the solutions to fight against desertification.
The event was held on the occasion of the ‘World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought’ with the Iranian Agriculture Minister Kazem Khavazi and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) Representative to Iran, Gerold Bodeker in attendance.
'The World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought' is a United Nations' observance celebrated each year on June 17. The purpose of celebrating such an event is to raise individuals' awareness towards the presence of desertification and drought, highlighting methods of preventing desertification and recovering from drought.
FAO has had a long-lasting collaboration
with the government of the Islamic Republic of Iran since the country
became a member of FAO in 1953.