A third of the planet’s land is severely degraded and fertile soil is
being lost at the rate of 24bn tonnes a year, according to a new United
Nations-backed study that calls for a shift away from destructively
intensive agriculture. The alarming decline, which is forecast to continue as demand for
food and productive land increases, will add to the risks of conflicts
such as those seen in Sudan and Chad unless remedial actions are implemented, warns the institution behind the report.