Half Of World's Pastures Degraded By Overuse, Climate Change: UN Report

"SINGAPORE - Half the world's natural pasture land has been degraded by overexploitation and the impact of climate change, putting food supplies and livelihoods in peril, the United Nations body in charge of fighting desertification said on Tuesday.

The United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) warned that a sixth of the world's food supplies were at risk from the deterioration of the world's rangelands - which include savannas, wetlands and deserts as well as grassland.

Population growth, urbanisation and rising food demand have encouraged herders to rear more animals than the land can support, and have also driven the conversion of natural pastures into intensive cropland, leading to declines in soil fertility and worsening droughts, it said.

Barron Joseph Orr, UNCCD's chief scientist, said that while the situation was bleak, there was a growing recognition that land restoration is part of the solution to climate change - with rangelands accounting for a third of the world's carbon reservoir capacity."

David Stanway reports for Reuters May 21, 2024.

Source: Reuters, 05/23/2024