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New Publication: Voices from the Land: Restoring Soils and Enriching Lives

When the UN Convention to Combat Desertification was created at the Rio Earth Summit over 25 years ago, it became the only international convention dedicated to protecting, managing and restoring our land. The environmental benefits of that work are already well documented, particularly when it comes to the inextricablelinks with climate change and biodiversity. But this book goes much further by highlighting the impact on the wellbeing of over three billion people – nearly half the world’s population – who are directly affected by land degradation.

Through the remarkable stories of people who decided to fight back rather than become another statistic tracking poverty, conflict or forced migration, it reveals the cost-effective results that can be achieved locally and scaled up globally when the right partners come together.

Restoring and sustainably managing degraded land globally could save between USD 4.3 and USD 20.2 trillion annually through the provision of ecosystem services alone. Research consistently shows how well land recovers when the right management practices are introduced, as do the communities whose livelihoods depend on it. But to fully seize the opportunities offered by restoration, we need to build public awareness, support forward-looking policy, back innovation and scale up proven solutions.

All of these aims require effective partnerships to be fully realized – science-policy partnerships to bring together the very best in research, technology, traditional knowledge and legislative approaches, and public-private partnerships to connect that expertise with small and medium-sized enterprises that hold potential solutions.

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