Speaking on the topic of World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought 2019, held on 17 June 2019, Andre Laperrière, executive director of Global Open Data for Agriculture and Nutrition (GODAN), highlighted the importance to improve food security and address the urgent climate emergency
“Today provides the much-needed spotlight on the major threats of drought, desertification and land degradation bringing detriment to millions of people worldwide. These issues must urgently be addressed if we are to protect and restore that land that is vital to improve food security and address the urgent climate emergency.”
“According to the UN chief, António Guterres, 24bn tonnes of fertile land is lost every across the globe, with the degradation in land quality being responsible for the reduction in the national domestic product of up to eight per cent every year. With this recognition of how poor land management degrading farmland and contributing to almost a quarter a greenhouse gases, there is the need for urgent innovation to drastically improve farming practices as a key stepping stone to achieving the UN’s 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.”
“The land plays a central role in our livelihoods and our survival and ensuring sustainable land management must be at the top of the agenda for not only governments but also organisations, industry bodies, enterprises, communities and individuals. While restoring land will not solve resolve all environmental issues brought on by climate change and human activity, it is a vital step in the right direction,” Laperrière added.
GODAN is the UK, USA, UN and Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO)-supported initiative, which supports the proactive sharing of Open Data to make information about agriculture and nutrition available, accessible and usable to deal with the urgent challenge of ensuring world food security.