Turkish Forestry Minister warns about increasing non-arable land
ANKARA - Anadolu Agency
DHA PhotoThe global increase in non-arable land poses a considerable threat and Turkey is also affected by the problem, Forestry and Waterworks Minister Veysel Eroğlu warned on July 13.
“Turkey is among the countries that will be greatly affected by the increase in non-arable land and climate change due to its geographical position, geological structure, topography and climate,” Eroğlu said.
Turkey is in the world’s top five countries struggling with the increase in non-arable land and erosion, he claimed, adding that 500,000 hectares in the world become desert every year due to poor irrigation alone.
“The increase in non-arable land costs more than $42 billion each year, according to the United Nations Environment Program [UNEP]. Africa alone suffers an annual financial loss of $9 billion,” Eroğlu said.
The minister added that more than 250 million people are directly affected by the increase in non-arable land and by drought, while more than 4 billion hectares are at risk of becoming non-arable, affecting the lives of 1.2 billion people.
The 12th session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 12) to the U.N. Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) is due to take place between Oct. 12 and Oct. 23 in the Turkish capital Ankara. Presidents, ministers, deputies, businesspeople, NGO representatives and almost 10,000 experts from 195 countries are expected to attend the conference. As the Convention’s primary decision-making body, the COP meets to discuss and make decisions regarding the implementation of the Convention.