World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought 2019 will be celebrated under the slogan “Let's grow the future together”.
By 2025, 1,8 billion people will experience water scarcity, and two thirds of the world will be living under water-stressed conditions.
This is a scenario that should make us think long and hard about how we as South Africa’s chemical industry deal with water and how we can assist in fighting ‘aridification’ (or the drying out of the earth) on 17 June 2019, the World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought.
If we don’t meet the aims of the Paris Climate Agreement, more than 25% of the earth will experience serious drought and turn into desert by the year 2050, according to a study published in the latest Nature Climate Change journal.
The Nature Climate Change study also predicts that the regions that will be most affected by an average temperature increase are those located in Central America, Southeast Asia, Southern Europe, Southern Africa and Southern Australia.
What is desertification?
Desertification occurs when previously fertile land becomes desert through deforestation, drought or improper agriculture. The areas at risk are often home to some of the most vulnerable people and eco-systems.
Land is not a limitless resource, and we cannot ignore its role in our everyday lives. Not taking care of it threatens food and water supply, biodiversity and even human security itself.
Unplanned urban sprawls, unsustainable agriculture and over-consumption lead to unsustainable land use, which eventually causes degradation and loss of critical ecosystem services. The result of this irresponsible behaviour is that the consumption of our planet’s natural reserves has doubled in the last 30 years, with a third of the planet´s land already severely degraded.
Let us turn land degradation into land restoration so we can realize the land´s full potential.