Deputy secretary-general of the United Nations (UN), Amina Mohammed, has asked countries to invest in land restoration policies.
Mohammed spoke at the 15th session of the Conference of Parties (COP15) of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD), which took place in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire.
She said countries can either reap the benefits of land restoration now or continue with the disastrous path of climate crisis.
Mohammad asked all countries to invest in tackling desertification and land degradation, stressing that land restoration connects with all sustainable development goals (SDGs).
She added that projections indicate that land restoration could generate up to $140 trillion in a year.
“We must ensure that funds are available for countries that need them, and that those funds are invested in areas that will have a decisive impact and create a more inclusive, sustainable future for all,” she said.
“Investments in tackling desertification and land degradation are among the most effective we can make. Half the world’s GDP and half its grain supplies depend on addressing land degradation.
“Yet rather than investing in solutions, the world is accelerating land degradation and making desertification worse.
“Land restoration connects with every single SDG, with every country, and with every person on the planet. Projections indicate that land restoration could generate up to $140 trillion a year – one and a half times last year’s GDP.
“And that can be achieved for less than a quarter of the sum spent on fossil fuels and farming subsidies each year. In fact, every dollar invested in restoring our land can generate up to 30 dollars in benefits.
“We are faced with a crucial choice. We can either reap the benefits of land restoration now, or continue on the disastrous path that has led us to the triple planetary crisis of climate, biodiversity and pollution.”