DATE: July 2, 2018
SNIP: Earth’s human scar, the mark humankind has left upon the planet, is growing apace: three-fourths of the ice-free land areas of the globe have been in some way degraded, according to a new global survey.
And by 2050 this degradation could reach nine-tenths, unless the world’s nations take urgent action. But by that time an estimated 700 million people could have been displaced because of all the implications of this debasement of what was once rich natural landscape.
A new edition of the World Atlas of Desertification, just published by the European Commission, spells out the scale of the problem: an area almost half the size of the European Union is each year in some way damaged by erosion, overgrazing, salinisation, desiccation or human exploitation.