1.5 billion people, living with soil too salty to be fertile 

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Between 20 to 50 per cent of irrigated soils successful each continents person grown too salty to be fully fertile, creating significant challenges for more than 1.5 cardinal people trying to grow their own food.  

The accusation is portion of the Global Map of Salt-Affected Soils, a new tool launched this Wednesday by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).  

These soils are little fertile and little productive, creating a menace to the planetary combat against hunger and poverty. They besides trim h2o prime and soil biodiversity, and increase soil erosion. 

With the caller map, a joint task involving 118 countries and hundreds of data-crunchers, FAO is hoping to better inform argumentation makers erstwhile dealing with clime alteration adaptation and irrigation projects. 

The motorboat took spot connected the opening time of the Global Symposium connected Salt-Affected Soils, a three-day virtual league gathering much than 5,000 experts which runs through Friday.  

Opening the symposium, FAO Director-General, QU Dongyu, said the satellite “must look for innovative ways to alteration our agri-food systems to beryllium much efficient, much inclusive, much resilient and much sustainable.”  

Growing threat  

Saline oregon sodic soils occur naturally, and are location to valuable ecosystems, including a scope of plants that have adapted to the salty conditions. 

In total, determination are much than 833 cardinal hectares of salt-affected soils astir the globe, or 8.7 per cent of the planet. Most of them tin beryllium recovered successful people arid oregon semi-arid environments successful Africa, Asia and Latin America.  

But they can besides beryllium caused by quality activity, due to mismanagement, excessive oregon inappropriate usage of fertilisers, deforestation, oversea level rises, a shallow h2o array which affects the rootzone, oregon seawater intrusion into groundwater that is past utilized for irrigation. 

Climate change 

At the aforesaid time, clime alteration is raising the stakes, with models suggesting that planetary drylands could grow by arsenic overmuch arsenic 23 per cent, mostly successful processing countries, by the extremity of the century. 

According to FAO, salinization (an summation successful water-soluble salts) and sodification (an summation successful precocious sodium content) of soils is among the astir superior planetary threats to arid and semi-arid regions, but besides for croplands successful coastal regions and in the case of irrigation, with wastewater successful immoderate climate. 

Combating the occupation requires a assortment of tools, from raising consciousness to adopting sustainable ungraded absorption practices, promoting technological innovation, to stronger governmental commitment. 

Knowledge sharing opportunity 

Healthy soils are a pre-requisite to execute the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and signifier the ground of FAO’s Four Betters: better production, amended nutrition, a amended environment, and a amended life, leaving nary 1 behind. 

The main nonsubjective of the Global Symposium connected Salt-Affected Soils is to stock cognition connected salinity prevention, clime alteration and ecosystem restoration and to link argumentation makers with nutrient producers, scientists, and practitioners.  

The gathering volition besides diagnostic a photograph contention offering participants the accidental to stock their testimonies connected the effects of ungraded salinity and sodification.  

The lawsuit takes spot up of World Soil Day on December 5, which this twelvemonth is dedicated to salt-affected soils with the motto, "Halt ungraded salinization, boost ungraded productivity".

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