The United Nations has called on global economies to devote a greater share of climate finance to forests and agriculture.
This is to safeguard the environment and curb future threats.
The President of UN General Assembly, Mr Volkan Bozkir, made the call on Monday at the assembly’s dialogue on desertification, land degradation and drought.
Bozkir said there was need to step up on global actions to combat land degradation, the only way to safeguard health and the environment against future threats.
“For an estimated $2.7tn per year, we could transform the world’s economies by restoring natural ecosystems and rewarding agriculture that keeps soils healthy.
“Also, we could transform the economies with incentivising business models that prioritise renewable, recyclable or biodegradable products and services,” he said.
According to him, the global economy could, within a decade, create 395 million new jobs and generate over $10tn.
Bozkir also said the more than one billion agricultural workers in the world must also not be forgotten.
“Most do not own the lands on which they work; currently, one per cent of farmers control more than 70 per cent of the world’s farmlands.
“Investing directly in land workers is an investment in our land and our planet’s future.
“When we enable workers to invest in their land, we support agricultural productivity,’’ Bozkir said.
The planet is facing an environmental crisis that encompasses every aspect of the natural world, land, climate, biodiversity and pollution on land and at sea, he stressed.
“Our existence and ability to thrive in this world is entirely dependent upon how we reset and rebuild our relationship with the natural world, including the health of our land,” he said.
He warned that without a change in course, things would only get worse.
“By 2050, global crop yields are estimated to fall by 10 per cent, with some suffering up to a 50 per cent reduction. This will lead to a sharp 30 per cent rise in world food prices, threatening progress on hunger and nutrition, as well as associated development goals.
“The fallout could also see millions of farmers pushed into poverty, while some 135 million people could be displaced by 2045, upping the risk of instability and tension,” Bozkir noted.
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