Climate change cannot be mitigated without paying due attention to conserving biodiversity and soil, according to a report by the UN Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES). Land degradation, on the one hand, jeopardizes the growth of trees and plants that absorb CO2, and can also release carbon previously stored in the soil into the atmosphere. However, there is currently three times more carbon stored in the soil than is present in the atmosphere.

The report suggests that 3.2 billion people — nearly half the world’s population — are They are already affected by soil degradation, caused by erosion, compaction, construction, or excessive irrigation. Deforestation and urbanization processes, among others, have reduced the productivity of 23% of the land surface.

Land degradation not only increases the amount of CO2 released into the atmosphere; It also calls into question the agricultural production of food for a growing population worldwide, especially in Asian countries. Within a vicious circle, global warming causes torrential rains to increase, and these contribute to soil erosion.