March 13th, Scott N. Yet, First Nations communities in Canada continue to face many problems of water security affecting their access to safe drinking water. Common challenges include frequent or long-standing water advisories, old or obsolete infrastructure, a preclusion of water from source to tap, and an uneven distribution of water quality across communities.
Soil degradation, therefore, poses a threat to food security, as it reduces yield, forces farmers to use more inputs, and may eventually lead to soil abandonment. Unfortunately, the importance of preserving soil health appears to be overlooked by policy makers.
In this paper, I first briefly introduce the present situation concerning agricultural production, natural resources, soil degradation, land use and the challenge ahead, to show how these issues are strictly interwoven.
Then, I define soil degradation and present a review of its typologies and estimates at a global level. I discuss the importance of preserving soil capital, and Water scarcity affecting first world nations relationship to human civilization and food security. Trends concerning the availability of arable agricultural land, different scenarios, and their limitations, are analyzed and discussed.
I argue that because of the many sources of uncertainty in the data, and the high risks at stake, a precautionary approach should be adopted when drawing scenarios. The paper ends with a discussion on the key role of preserving soil organic matter, and the need to adopt more sustainable agricultural practices.
I also argue that both our relation with nature and natural resources and our lifestyle need to be reconsidered. In the same document, the UN declares: They are our silent ally in food production.
We have to praise the UN and FAO for this much-needed initiative aimed at reminding us about how our life is inescapably dependent on soil and natural resources. This is a fact that urbanized people often tend to forget as they live, culturally and physically, far away from the land, the soil and the food system.
Consequently, our dependence on natural resources has been overlooked by intellectuals and cultured people, as well as by our economists, and in turn by society. It is unfortunate that neo-classical economics, which we trust in making decisions about our future, simply excludes natural resources the biophysical side of our economies from its theories, considering them as nearly free and infinite, therefore not a matter of concern.
Issues such as pollution and climate change have gathered widespread attention, as have energy, water and the conservation of biodiversity, pushing policy-makers to take action.
Concern about soil conservation has been raised by soil scholars and works have been produced to raise awareness among farmers, policy makers and society e. Since the s, the concept of soil quality has become popular in the field for the USA see, for example, [ 8 ].
This is the first such report on this topic, and aims at raising awareness amongst both policy makers and lay people. Agriculture, the domestication of plants, animals, ecosystems and soils, is the practice by which we have produced our food and fueled our civilizations for more than ten thousand years.
It is of crucial importance to realize that soil health and water supply are the cornerstones agriculture is based upon. So much so, that there cannot be agriculture without water, and we cannot have vegetation and agriculture without soil.
This has helped meet world food demand and save hundreds of millions of people from starvation.
Water scarcity is the lack of fresh water resources to meet water demand. It affects every continent and was listed in by the World Economic Forum as the largest global risk in terms of potential impact over the next decade. . The theme of the High-level Political Forum on sustainable development will be "Transformation towards sustainable and resilient societies.” In the lead-up to the Forum, weekly blogs by representatives of Member States, UN system, and major groups and other stakeholders will be featured on this page to present various perspectives on this theme. Aug 21, · Water crises, long seen as a problem of only the poorest, are increasingly affecting some of the world's wealthiest nations, warns WWF ahead of World Water Week. The global conservation organization's report, Rich Countries, Poor Water (PDF), is one of the first comprehensive overviews of water issues in the developed world.
Asia, for example, which was threatened by hunger and mass starvation as late as the mids, became self-sufficient in staple foods within 20 years, even though its population more than doubled [ 2426 ]. It must be highlighted that the doubling of global food production during the past decades has been accompanied by a massive increase in the use of inputs, such as synthetic nitrogen, phosphorus, pesticide applications and extensive use of irrigation and energy [ 151622293031 ].
The intensification of agriculture has also led to the degradation and exhaustion of soil and land, which is one of two topics this paper addresses. Along with increased food supply and improved health conditions, world population has risen from 3 billion in to about 7—7.
Since the s, however, there has been a slowdown in the growth of world agricultural production. World cereal output stagnated and fluctuated widely [ 212425273238 ].
Food imports played an important role in allowing those countries that could afford it to meet the internal food demand and actually increase food consumption [ 27 ].
Experts warn us that addressing the stagnating yields of our most important croplands is of paramount importance; failure to identify and alleviate the causes of yield stagnation, or reduction, will have a major impact on the future of global food security.
Many issues, including yield reduction, have coalesced to determine agricultural trends in recent decades e. A recent work by Grassini et al. While we can fully agree with such a statement, one should also consider that such a failure might also have been induced by external forces, such as markets and international policies.
The dumping of highly subsidized agricultural commodities from developed countries has greatly harmed farmers in developing countries [ 4041 ]. For decades, the World Bank has actively discouraged African countries from investing in rural development [ 4041424344 ], to the point of dismantling the work carried out by Norman Bourlaug for the African green revolution [ 41 ].
Nor should we ignore some other major issues that prevent the agriculture of poor countries from developing: According to Ramankutty et al. The authors argue that the assessments are complicated by misunderstanding and confusion regarding the definitions of cropland and pasture.
Data from the Global Land Cover Share-database, which represents the major land cover classes defined by the FAO, provide the following figures for land cover: It has been argued that land degradation affect all types of land cover [ 50 ].
At the same time, the global irrigated area has doubled [ 37 ].The problem of water scarcity is a growing one.
As more people put ever-increasing demands on limited supplies, the cost and effort to build or even maintain access to water will increase. And water's importance to political and social stability will only grow with the crisis. In , about 87% of the global population ( billion people) had access to piped water supply through house connections or to an improved water source through other means than house, including standpipes, water kiosks, spring supplies and protected monstermanfilm.comr, about 13% (about million people) did not have access to an improved water source and had to use unprotected wells or springs.
The Current Environmental Issues page covers a wide variety of environmental issues and problems we are facing today.
Includes Environmental News. Water scarcity is increasing worldwide and dramatically affecting first world nations such as Spain, Australia, and the United States. All nations are now starting to recognize that the world's water is a finite resource, and that resource is being drastically altered in both availability and quality by development, climate change and.
Freshwater scarcity is increasingly perceived as a global systemic risk. Previous global water scarcity assessments, measuring water scarcity annually, have underestimated experienced water scarcity by failing to capture the seasonal fluctuations in water consumption and availability.
We assess blue water scarcity globally at a high spatial resolution on a monthly basis. Water: The Fate of Our Most Precious Resource [Marq de Villiers] on monstermanfilm.com *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. In his award-winning book WATER, Marq de Villiers provides an eye-opening account of how we are using, misusing.