The issue

Feeding the world
Scientists agree that we will need 120 million hectares of healthy farmland on top of what we currently have left, in order to feed the world in 2050. We have 750 million hectares of degraded soils that can be restored.
See dowload: The state of the World's land and water resources for food and agriculture and The state of Soil in Europe.

Climate
Soils store more carbon than the atmosphere and all plant life combined. The release of just 0,1 % of the carbon stored in European soils is equivalent to the greenhouse gas emissions of 100 million cars in a year.
See downloads: Carbon sequestration potential of reclaimed desert in Egypt and Organic Agriculture and Climate Change Mitigation and Soil, the hidden part of climate cycle

Health
Every year, approximately 300.000 farm workers die as a direct result of using pesticides. Also, over the last century, the nutritional content of farm food in Western countries has declined dramatically as a result of industrial farming and breeding.
See download: Changes in USDA food composition data for 43 garden crops, 1950-1999.

Biodiversity
Soils contain one quarter to one third of all living organisms on the planet. Biodiversity in the soil is the very foundation of our food chain. Biodiversity loss and climate change are two of the most pressing challenges of our time. Soil biodiversity is a key to both.
See download: European Atlas of Soil Biodiversity - by EC/JRC (intro)

Fresh Water
Degraded soils loose their water holding capacity. The water either falls through or evaporates. This increases the effect of erosion, desertification, landslides, floods and droughts.
See dowload: The state of the World's land and water resources for food and agriculture.

 

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