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Report shows youth, women, rural folk among hardest hit by land degradation

By Robert Amalemba | May 24th 2022 | 2 min read
Patricia Kombo addressing the fifteenth meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP 15) to the UN Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) at the Sofitel Hotel in Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire. She called on world leaders to involve youth in restoring land. [Robert Amalemba, Standard]

Poor rural communities, smallholder farmers, women, youth and indigenous people are worst hit by desertification, land degradation and drought, a report has indicated.

The Global Land Outlook 2 report shows humans transformed over 70 per cent of earth’s land from its natural state, causing unparalleled environmental degradation and contributing significantly to global warming.

“If current land degradation trends continue this century, scientists predict that severe climate-induced disturbances will increase. These include disruptions to food supplies, forced migration, and continued biodiversity loss and extinction.

“Collectively, these trends increase the risk of declining human health, more zoonotic diseases and greater conflict over land resources,” says the report by UN Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD).

The report says women are not only vulnerable to climate change but effective actors or agents of change in mitigation and adaptation courtesy of their strong body of knowledge and expertise.

The report comes at the backdrop of the ongoing 15th meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP 15) to the UNCCD in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire where a Kenyan environmental activist Patricia Kombo spoke for the youth.

The UNCCD COP15 is convening under the theme, ‘Land. Life. Legacy: From scarcity to prosperity; a call to action to ensure land, which is the lifeline on this planet, will also benefit present and future generations.’

Another UNCCD report, Drought in Numbers, 2022 released on Wednesday, approximateS 4 million hectares of degraded land within “strict intervention zones” have been rehabilitated under the framework of the African Union-led restoration initiative - Great Green Wall.

Robert Amalemba in Abidjan. This article has been sponsored by Earth Journalism Network fellowship.

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