Land degradation and biodiversity loss are among the most pressing environmental challenges facing humanity. Land degradation has reduced the productivity of nearly one-quarter of the global land surface, impacted the wellbeing of about 3.2 billion people and cost about 10% of annual global gross domestic product in lost ecosystem services. An estimated 23% of total anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions derive from agriculture, forestry and other land uses, contributing to climate change.
Land-use change, habitat loss and fragmentation and other factors involved in land degradation processes are driving unprecedented losses in the biodiversity that underpins many of the benefits derived from nature.
The average abundance of native species in most major land-based habitats has fallen by at least 20% and around 1 million species face extinction unless the pressure on nature can be reduced. Many of the global biodiversity targets set for 2020 will not be met.