United Nations global land restoration commitment will affect Paris climate talks

The United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) has described its new global deal on reversing land degradation, formally agreed late last Friday night after two weeks of discussions in Ankara, Turkey as a “breakthrough”.

The agreement is likely to have an impact on next month’s UN climate change conference in Paris, COP21.

At present, 12 million hectares of land is degraded annually through infrastructural development and unsustainable food production.

So the deal at Ankara commits the UN’s members, albeit on a voluntary basis, to restore or rehabilitate at least that area every year, just to keep things from getting worse.

That is the fundamental change that has taken place,” said UNCCD executive secretary Monique Barbut.

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