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Report Warns of Global Arable Land Losses

A new report released June 17 in Beijing at an event marking the World Day to Combat Desertification finds that the world's countries need to improve the way land is evaluated in order to unlock its true potential and reverse the alarming pace of land degradation, including the loss of 24 billion tonnes of fertile soil and 15 billion trees every year.

The International Resource Panel's report says erosion, nutrient depletion, acidification, salinization, compaction and chemical pollution have left 33 percent of the world's soils moderately or highly degraded and, if current conditions continue, 320-849 million hectares of land will be converted to cropland by 2050 at the expense of the world's savannahs, grasslands, and forests, causing greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture to increase by 24-30 percent.

World Bank Photo Collection

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