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News and Opinion

Coverage of land degradation since November 18, 2021.

Scientists urge Canada to keep the chainsaws out of undisturbed forests

"...The letter, penned by the chief scientist for the California-based conservation group Wild Heritage, says although forest degradation does not have a formally agreed upon definition, it’s widely understood to refer to effects on forest ecosystems that might not amount to full-fledged land-use change but that have negative impacts on things such as native species, ecosystem quality and its carbon stores..."

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Climate change: Intensity of ongoing drought in Syria, Iraq and Iran ‘not rare anymore’

"...Large parts of Iraq, Iran and Syria have been gripped by an intense drought for years. Low rainfall and high temperatures have caused crops to fail and driven water shortages across the region, pushing millions of people into food insecurity..."

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Canada’s carbon-storing peat digs up a climate conundrum

"...It is valuable to farmers for its ability to hold moisture and drain excess water, which makes it a popular soil component. Peat extraction is a big business: Canada exported a total of $683. 5 million of peat, including peat for soil, in 2022..."

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Kenya's smallholder farmers embrace soil science to cope with the climate crisis

"...High population growth and increasing demand for food have seen smallholder farmers in Kenya embrace soil science to cope with the vagaries of climate change..."

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Africa: Response to climate crisis doesn’t match ‘magnitude of the challenge’

"...As desertification and land degradation drive competition for resources, they also erode livelihoods and food security for millions..."

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Planting trees in tropical cropland could create ‘win-win’ for nature and farming

"...Prioritising agroforestry on open land as opposed to converting old growth forests is a “no brainer” for jointly addressing both climate change and biodiversity loss, a scientist not involved with the study tells Carbon Brief..."

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'Build a shared future for all life', urges UN chief on Biodiversity Day

"...“Biodiversity is essential for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals, ending the existential threat of climate change, halting land degradation, building food security and supporting advances in human health”, said António Guterres in a statement..."

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UN land report: Five key takeaways for climate change, food systems and nature loss

"...Food systems – a catch-all term to describe the way humans produce, process, transport and consume food – are the largest culprit when it comes to land degradation, the report says. They account for 80% of deforestation, 29% of greenhouse gas emissions and the leading share of biodiversity loss..."

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World Health Day: Take climate action, take care of each other

"...It advocates for investing in essential services - from water and sanitation to clean energy in healthcare facilities - ensuring a quick and healthy energy transition; promoting healthy and sustainable food systems; building healthy and liveable cities; and stopping taxpayers’ money from funding pollution..."

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Is Vertical Farming the Future?

"...ENERGYVisualizing the EU's Energy DependencyMapped: Gas Prices in America at All-Time HighsThe Clean Energy Employment Shift, by 2030The Science of Nuclear Weapons, VisualizedBreaking Down the Cost of an EV Battery Cell..."

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Four steps asset owners can take to invest in vital climate action Corporate Knights

"...According to the United Nations Environment Programme’s most recent State of Finance for Nature report, an estimated US$8. 1 trillion will be needed over the next three decades to successfully tackle the climate, biodiversity and land degradation crises. Alongside government and philanthropic resources, private investment capital is a critical tool to fill the gap..."

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An Empty Pledge to Protect Rainforests

"...This month’s United Nations climate change conference had barely begun when a landmark deal to end and reverse deforestation was announced. More than 100 countries signed on to the “Glasgow Leaders’ Declaration on Forests and Land Use,” a commitment “to halt and reverse forest loss and land degradation by 2030. ”..."

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Recommended Reading

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Podcasts

Recent episodes that mention land degradation.

Restoring public lands through grazing

Duration: 56:39

"...Gregory Horner tells us about places all over the country where grazing is being used to improve land health--which may come as a surprise to many who have seen the land degradation caused by overgrazing..."

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Informative Video

Discussions, Documentaries, and Investigative Reports about land degradation.

Session: The incentive to invest in nature

"...According to the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), there is a gap of $4. 1 trillion in financing for nature-based solutions to climate change that needs to be closed by 2050 if the world is to meet its targets on climate change, biodiversity and land degradation..."

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Forests for Climate

"...An Issue Briefing on 'How can corporates, governments, jurisdictions and local communities scale forest conservation?' At COP26, 141 countries committed to halt and reverse forest loss and land degradation by 2030 by strengthening their efforts to conserve and restore forests and other terrestrial ecosystems and accelerate their restoration..."

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Academic Research

Recent peer-reviewed papers about land degradation relevant to the latest news.

Agroforestry for controlling soil erosion and enhancing system productivity in ravine lands of Western India under climate chan

"...Tree cultivation either sole or in combination with crops (agroforestry) has a strong potential to control erosion, produce sustainable economic yield, reduce energy consumption, and sequester greater amount of atmospheric carbon dioxide in biomass and soil carbon pools besides providing various ecosystem services..."

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Opportunities for blue carbon restoration projects in degraded agricultural land of the coastal zone in Queensland, Australia

"...This approach enhances carbon sequestration in biomass and soils whilst reducing greenhouse gas emissions and delivering other conservation benefits such as enhancing biodiversity, improving water quality, and protecting coastlines from sea level rise..."

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Mechanization and sustainable agri-food system transformation in the Global South. A review

"...The review suggests that agricultural mechanization is needed to make agri-food systems more sustainable concerning various economic and social aspects, such as labor productivity, poverty reduction, food security, and health and well-being..."

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Effects of Changing Fire Regimes and Post-Fire Salvage Logging on Forest Ecosystems

"..., prescribed fire, salvage logging, and afforestation with less flammable species) may help land managers to identify the most effective actions for specific forest ecosystems against the prevention of irreversible land degradation..."

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The study of artificial intelligence for predicting land use changes in an arid ecosystem

"...The driving factors of LUCC in this study include climate change, ecological flooding, groundwater conditions, and human activities..."

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Land use change and climate dynamics in the Rift Valley Lake Basin, Ethiopia

"...Land use and climate dynamics have a pronounced impact on water resources, biodiversity, land degradation, and productivity at all scales..."

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Challenges of transhumance in Northwest Cameroon

"...Despite its many challenges caused by population growth, agricultural expansion and rangeland disappearance, exacerbated by climate change and irrational state policies on communal land rights, transhumance has remained an integral aspect of pastoralism and the most resilient strategy used by Fulani herders and other pastoral groups across NWC to access seasonal grazing resources and adapt to rangeland degradation..."

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Assessing the Realization of Global Land Restoration: A Meta-analysis

"...Restoring degraded land is essential for regaining ecosystem services (ES) and attaining the UN-Sustainable Development Goals by 2030..."

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Application of Information Technologies in the Assessment of Trends in Land Cover for Tracking Progress Towards Voluntary Land

"...is crucial for land protection which is by the definition: ?By 2030, combat desertification, restore degraded land and soil, including land affected by desertification, drought, and floods, and strive to achieve a land-degradation neutral world?..."

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Soil Erosion Vulnerability Mapping in Selected Rural Communities of uThukela Catchment, South Africa, Using the Analytic Hierar

"...The AHP was employed to map soil erosion vulnerability and derive the percentage weights of geo-environmental parameters contributing to soil erosion: rainfall, slope, drainage density, soil type, vegetation cover, and land use/land cover..."

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