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Land degradation is an increasing threat for human well-being and ecosystems, especially for those in rural areas who are most dependent on land productivity.

Land degradation hotspots cover approximately 29 per cent of global land, where 3.2 billion people reside.

See Chapter 8 : Land and soil and Chapter 15: Land and soil policy 

More investment in indicators that integrate different data sources and delineate clearly gender and inequality aspects, will enable better designed policy interventions and their evaluation.

Further developments are needed in environmental and natural resource accounting to ensure that environmental costs are internalised into economic decision making for sustainability.

See Global Trends in Land Degradation.

Most important is the need to take bold, urgent, sustained, inclusive and transformative action that integrates environmental, economic and social activity to put society on pathways to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals, multilateral environmental agreements, internationally agreed environmental goals and other science-based targets.

See Measuring Progress. Towards Achieving the Environmental Dimension of the SDGS

The sixth Global Environmental Outlook has been released while environmental ministers from around the world are in Nairobi to participate in the world’s highest-level environmental forum. Negotiations at the Fourth UN Environment Assembly are expected to tackle critical issues such as stopping food waste, promoting the spread of electric mobility, and tackling the crisis of plastic pollution in our oceans, among many other pressing challenges.

The report advises adopting less-meat intensive diets, and reducing food waste in both developed and developing countries, would reduce the need to increase food production by 50% to feed the projected 9-10 billion people on the planet in 2050.

At present, 33 per cent of global edible food is wasted, and 56 per cent of waste happens in industrialized countries, the report states.

Achieving land degradation neutrality by 2030 is regarded as critical for attaining other key international goals related to reducing biodiversity loss and deforestation, improving human welfare, and climate change adaptation and mitigation