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Guterres calls for drastic acceleration to combat desertification

United Nations, Jun 17 (Prensa Latina) UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres called Monday for a drastic acceleration of the implementation of the UN Convention to Combat Desertification.

“Security, prosperity and health of billions of people depend on thriving lands that sustain lives, livelihoods and ecosystems,” Guterres recalled on his message for the World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought.

The UN chief urged for a united response, warning that about four football fields of healthy soil are degraded every second.

“Governments, businesses, scholars, communities and more must come together and act. We know what we have to do: it is clearly set out in the UN Convention to Combat Desertification,” the leader said.

Guterres further called for building momentum towards the upcoming COP16, scheduled to take place later this year in Saudi Arabia, as well as ensuring that young people are heard in the negotiations.

“Let us sow together the seeds of a prosperous future – for nature and humanity,” he concluded.

According to UN figures, every dollar invested in land reclamation can generate up to $30 while nearly three billion people are impacted by desertification.

Over 130 UN member countries have committed to neutralize land degradation by 2030 by signing up to the UN Convention to Combat Desertification.

This instrument aims at achieving a world, in which human activity has a neutral, or even positive, impact on soil.