Dirt Isn't So Cheap After All
Soil erosion is the "silent global crisis" that is undermining food production and water availability, as well as being responsible for 30 percent of the greenhouse gases driving climate change. "We are overlooking soil as the foundation of all life on Earth," said Andres Arnalds, assistant director of the Icelandic Soil Conservation Service.
"Soil and vegetation is being lost at an alarming rate around the globe, which in turn has devastating effects on food production and accelerates climate change," Arnalds told IPS from Selfoss, Iceland, host city of the International Forum on Soils, Society and Climate Change which starts Friday.
Along with many other international partner institutions, Iceland is marking the centenary of its Soil Conservation Service by convening this forum of experts. Every year, some 100,000 square kilometres of land loses its vegetation and becomes degraded or turns into desert. "Land degradation and desertification may be regarded as the silent crisis of the world, a genuine threat to the future of humankind," Arnalds said.