Up to two fifths of the planet’s land is of poor quality, affecting 50 per cent of humanity and reducing domestic productivity, the United Nations has warned. A report into land resources across the globe concluded that restoration is vital in combating hunger and climate change. Conserving, restoring and using our land resources sustainably is a global imperative, one that requires action on a crisis footing … business as usual is not a viable pathway for our continued survival and prosperity,” said executive secretary of the UN Convention to Combat Desertification, Ibrahim Thiaw. About half the world’s annual economic output – $US 44 trillion – is being challenged by the loss of “finite natural capital”, the UNCCD suggests. Conversely, the report says the economic returns of reducing degradation, greenhouse gas emissions and biodiversity loss could be as high as $140trn a year. The good news is that when you restore land, you restore economy, you build resilient societies and you fight many of the other sustainable development goals.” The report projects that failure to reverse degradation could lead to the further deterioration of land the size of South America by 2050 – and an additional 69 gigatonnes of carbon emissions.