Wednesday, July 09, 2008
FAO land degradation study
The Land Degradation Assessment in Drylands (LADA) project, in partnership with ISRIC - World Soil Information, has produced a global map of land degradation based on more than 20 years of satellite vegetation data and rainfall records. Defined as a long-term decline in ecosystem function and productivity, the project reports that land degradation is increasing in severity and extent in many parts of the world, with more than 20 percent of all cultivated areas, 30 percent of forests and 10 percent of grasslands undergoing degradation, and that an estimated 1.5 billion people, or a quarter of the world’s population, depend directly on land that is being degraded. The study found that degradation is being driven mainly by poor land management. The data on global land degradation are part of a study released by the FAO, the United Nations Environment Programme and the World Soil Information (ISRIC) on global land degradation titled Land Degradation Assessment in Drylands. Funding for the study was provided by the Global Environment Facility.