Global land outlook
This publication (PDF) by the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) addresses the future challenges and opportunities for the management and restoration of land resources in the context of sustainable development. The current pressures on land are huge and expected to continue growing. Our inefficient food system, with a focus on short-term production, is threatening human health and environmental sustainability. Our current agriculture practices use enormous amounts of scarce water and energy supplies, and contribute to the very climate change that threatens the entire food system. Food security is under threat and there is no single solution to this challenge; instead the world will need to make a coordinated effort to address shortages, degradation, inequalities, and waste. Ten key steps will be essential: 1) Close the gap between actual and potential yield in all environments; 2) Use land, water, nutrients, and pesticides more efficiently; 3) Reduce offsite impacts of food and non-food production; 4) Stop expanding the agricultural frontier; 5) Shift to more plant-based and whole food diets; 6) Raise awareness about health, sustainability, and responsibility; 7) Reward sustainable land management practices; 8) Reduce food waste and post-harvest losses; 9) Improve land tenure security, access to nutritional food, and gender equity; 10) Implement integrated landscape management approaches. It is clear that the next few decades will be the most critical in shaping and implementing a new and transformative global land agenda.