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UN stresses need for improved methods to measure desertification and poverty

Article / Review by on October 19, 2011 – 6:31 pmNo Comments

UN stresses need for improved methods to measure desertification and poverty

Better measurement standards for land degradation and poverty were the focus of discussions today at the United Nations desertification conference, with country representatives and scientific experts debating effective ways to establish global indicators to measure land degradation.

UN stresses need for improved methods to measure desertification and poverty

Eleven countries shared their experiences measuring land degradation while linking it to poverty levels s at the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) in Changwon, Republic of Korea (ROK). China, for example, revealed that poverty rates declined with a concurrent increase in productive land between 2000 and 2009.

The data provided will be used to create global indicators as there are currently no agreed universal scientific measures for desertification, largely because of the lack of available data.

According to UNCCD, every decade an area of productive land the size of South Africa is lost due to land degradation, and reversing this phenomenon has become a priority to achieve sustainable development as the global population continues to grow, requiring an increase in food production.

The 11 countries taking part in the desertification measurement initiative, known as the UNCCD Impact Indicators Pilot Programme, are: Algeria, Argentina, China, Colombia, Mexico, Portugal, Senegal, South Africa, Spain and Tunisia.


> United Nations (UN).

The General Assembly in session. Photo credit: UN / Eskinder Debebe The United Nations was established on 24 October 1945 by 51 countries committed to preserving peace through international cooperation and collective security. Today, nearly every nation in the world belongs to the UN: membership totals 192 countries.

When States become Members of the United Nations, they agree to accept the obligations of the UN Charter, an international treaty that sets out basic principles of international relations. According to the Charter, the UN has four purposes:

  • to maintain international peace and security;
  • to develop friendly relations among nations;
  • to cooperate in solving international problems and in promoting respect for human rights;
  • and to be a centre for harmonizing the actions of nations.


* The above story is adapted from materials provided by United Nations (UN)
** More information at United Nations (UN)

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