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Abstract

The negative consequences of human actions have brought our world and our future to a dangerous crossroads: will we be able to avert the worst impacts of climate change? How can we stop and reverse the loss of fertile soil, biodiversity, and other natural capital that supplies all our food and other basic needs? Where are the jobs for millions of unemployed young people?

How can we reduce the number of migrants driven from their homes by drought, land degradation, food insecurity or conflict over natural resources? Healthy and productive landscapes and the vital benefits they provide are key to these pressing challenges. Agriculture currently provides nearly one in every three jobs worldwide. Yet we are losing ecosystems services including food production worth more than $6 trillion a year to erosion and other forms of degradation, putting yet more forested land under pressure for conversion to agriculture.

Ongoing environmental degradation in rural areas could unravel the social and economic fabric across many areas of our planet