Grounded Soil

Degraded Soil Management as Part of Mitigation Action

by Branindityo Nugroho

 

This session took place in the Italy Pavilion and it discussed our current and future challenges with extreme weather and the relation to forced displacement. Here is a brief overview of the situation and why we are not particularly ready to overcome this problem.

Poverty –> Illegal economy –> Corruption –> Fanaticism and Terrorism –> Overexploitation –> Migration

…and it causes an even worse feedback loop:

Environmental Stress –> Social Cohesion Collapse and Conflict –> Loss of Mitigation and Adaptation Capability –> Even more Environmental Stress

Add to this climate change and the additional fragility of soil and soil degradation and picture the tragedy we had to defuse. Environmental modifications cause the contraction, loss or displacement of ecosystem services such as:

  1. productivity, and also purification
  2. Bio-sanitary
  3. Local climate regulation services
  4. Empowerment and cultural identity services

Cultural Identity Services encompasses the concept that humans have adapted to the circumstances they’re born in – their immediate environment. So when there is any significant difference in that landscape, which exceeds the human ability to overcome, then the only option left is to move to another place. Upon a move to a new location, it is quite likely that humans will spark new changes and alterations in this new environment. At the end of the day it is a simultaneous, multiplied effect on the whole globe.

And since all of us struggling to keep this planet below that 2 degrees that we agreed, then all of us should be on board, including helping fragile areas and those who live in them.

The cost of recovering one acre of degraded land are various, ranging from 80 USD in semi-degraded fertile area to 22 000 USD for complex coastal biomes.

In most tropic countries where the degradation insecurity nexus is emerging, the cost is around 200 USD. With this approximate number, the recovery of each acre turns into a well-measured-effective-carbon-action.

The recovery of lands -especially if they are given to trained small scale family farmers- lead to:

  • Create effective carbon absorption mechanism
  • Enables local mitigation
  • Defends hydrologic system
  • Protect biodiversity
  • Restore productivity
  • An agricultural surplus that enables manufacturing activities
  • Local family and gender empowerment
  • A stronger civil cohesion and lessened migratory impulse
  • Lifestyles and dignity dimensions that illegitimate fanatics
  • Valorize traditional know how, modernize it, strengthen local identity

So it is important to keep ourselves grounded in managing the land and soil. Moreover it’s a limited core resource for every single living organism in this planet. Be grounded!

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