the UN’s urgent call to restore one billion hectares

“Return part of the planet to the state in which you found it”. This is essentially how we could summarize the message sent today by the United Nations through the voice of two of its flagship agencies, that of the environment (UNEP) and that of agriculture (FAO). The part in question is a billion hectares, a little more than the area of ​​China. And not in a century, but in ten years.

This injunction does not come out of nowhere. It is based on previous international agreements, from the Rio agreements (1992) to the challenge of Bonn (2011), which alone brought together more than a hundred countries. For years, governments and international agencies have debated the artificialization of soils and its dramatic results, such as the depletion of agricultural land or simply the areas lost to concrete, which strongly participate in the global decline of biodiversity and the global warming.

The report published this Thursday morning June 3 by UNEP and FAO “Represents a synthesis of recent research”, they assure. All types of environment are affected: forests, meadows, savannas, mountains, coastal areas, bodies of fresh water, and even agricultural land and urban areas … For the authors, “The demands that humanity places on the biosphere – our ecological footprint – are simply excessive”.

To stop this, conserving and protecting existing natural areas is far from

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