The Post 2015 Agenda – Achieving 0% Net Land Degradation

19 June 2014, By Komal Muthyalu, Youth Environmental Activist

Land is our most precious resource – it is the basis of our survival and subsistence. Yet it is amongst the most neglected and overexploited amongst our natural resources. The pressure on arable land is increasing by the day. A combination of rapidly increasing global population, urbanization, industrialization, intensive farming methods and human encroachment is pushing millions of hectares of land over the edge into what can be classified as degraded land. Some of the world’s poorest societies depend on dry lands for their survival. The effects of desertification, land degradation and drought are the most extreme for the rural poor. Approximately 1.5 billion people globally depend on degrading areas for their livelihoods, and nearly half of the world’s very poor (42%) live in degraded areas. A staggering 12 million hectares of land are lost to desertification every year. (source : www.unccd.int)

Thus its conservation and longevity of land need to be critical components of the post 2015 development agenda. Civil society and its stakeholders have a very important role to play in stopping land degradation. We, the youth, must take a leadership role in spreading awareness and conservation.

Every small step and every little action counts. Our youth organization, Green Hope UAE, believes in planting trees as the most effective and simple way that young people can contribute to stopping land degradation. We use it as a symbolic tool in engaging young people to understand the importance of anti-desertification and the ease with which each and every person in civil society can be a part of the change process by doing something as simple as planting a tree. The post 2015 agenda needs to be one full of action and not words, since time is not on our side. Reversing degradation is a time consuming process and prevention is always the most effective cure.

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