World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought 2018: Smart Choices to Preserve our Land Skip to main content

World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought 2018: Smart Choices to Preserve our Land

Symbol: 
E/ESCWA/SDPD/2018/INF.2
Issued in: 
2018

The Arab region has limited land resources while it faces daunting challenges that include high population and urbanization growth rates, resource over-exploitation, diminishing water resources, decreasing biodiversity, land degradation and desertification and global warming to name a few. These challenges are adding pressure on the region’s land resources declining the per capita share of arable land by almost half during the last three decades. However, available land could decline further depending on the impact of climate change on temperatures and water resources, among other factors, which affect the productive capacity of soils.

Additionally, prevailing consumption patterns in the Arab region have negative impacts on land and water resources as they lead to the rapid depletion and/or degradation of these already scarce resources. Adopting responsible consumption patterns could help support the maintenance and improvement of the region’s fast depleting and degrading natural resources. Through smart consumption, smart shopping and smart decisions, it is possible to help improve land resources both through increased efficiency – more persons fed per unit of land – and through low and easily degradable waste generation. Enhanced land sustainability constitutes an indirect non-monetary investment in land.