July 4, 2020

Sharjah working against desertification


Ecological groups and authorities in Sharjah are making headway against desertification, planting greenery to keep land erosion at bay, said officials at UN’s World Day to Combat Desertification on June 17.

New trees are helping in the reforestation of Sharjah, said Hana Saif Al Suwaidi, chairperson of The Environment and Protected Areas Authority (EPAA) in Sharjah. The authority said in a statement on Thursday that the EPAA’s efforts are supported by the Environmental Degradation Prevention Act, which imposes a fine on anyone who commits any environmental offence or violation that could lead to deforestation or desertification.

“Within just a short period of time, the EPAA has achieved many accomplishments, including reforestation campaigns across the Emirate of Sharjah. These include protected areas in Al Batayeh, Al Ghaf and the mangrove areas. Other efforts include environmental awareness campaigns, which the authority has organised for visitors to these nature reserves for over eight years. In addition to this, EPAA conducts international biodiversity workshops, marks and celebrates National Environment Day, and has supported the release of wildlife into Ed-dhelaimah Protected Area,” Al Suwaidi said.

The United Nation’s secretary general Banki Moon said in a statement on Thursday: “Desertification, land degradation, drought and climate change are interconnected. As a result of land degradation and climate change, the severity and frequency of droughts have been increasing, along with floods and extreme temperatures. More than 50% of agricultural land is moderately or severely degraded, with 12 million hectares lost to production each year.”

He continued: “The livelihoods and wellbeing of hundreds of millions of people are at stake. Nearly 800 million people are chronically undernourished as a direct consequence of land degradation, declining soil fertility, unsustainable water use, drought and biodiversity loss. Over the next 25 years, land degradation could reduce global food productivity by as much as 12%, leading to a 30% increase in world food prices. Without a long-term solution, desertification and land degradation will not only affect food supply but lead to increased migration and threaten the stability of many nations and regions. This is why world leaders made land degradation neutrality one of the targets of the Sustainable Development Goals. That means rehabilitating at least 12 million hectares of degraded land a year.”

Article source – http://gulfnews.com/news/uae/environment/sharjah-keeping-desert-at-bay-1.1847492

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