Land degradation

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{{ComponentTemplate2 |InputVar=Precipitation - grid; Number of wet days - grid; Land cover, land use - grid; Temperature - grid; |Parameter=Slope - grid; Land management; Initial land cover, land use; Initial temperature, precipitation; Soil types and profiles (S-World); Weighting factors for temperature, precipitation, land use and slope; |OutputVar=Erosion risk - grid; Change in soil properties - grid; |Description=Land degradation is human-induced damage to ecosystems leading to a sustained loss of capacity. This is a serious and widespread problem leading ultimately to loss of arable land, and to demand for new arable land to compensate for decline in production on existing land. A key symptom of land degradation is loss of organic carbon from soils and vegetation, also contributing to global greenhouse gas emissions. The key mechanisms in land degradation are soil erosion (by water and wind), compaction, salinization, nutrient depletion, structural decay and contamination. The main causes are deforestation, land conversion, inadequate agricultural land use and management, and construction (urbanisation, road construction).

In 2012, the UN Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) formulated the goal to achieve zero net land degradation as a Sustainable Development Goal for Rio+20 ‘to secure the contribution of our planet’s land and soil to sustainable development, including food security and poverty eradication’ (UNCCD, 2012). Land degradation is also relevant to the other Rio Conventions, with one of the Aichi targets of the Convention on Biological Diversity (Template:AbbbrTemplate