Professor Uche Amalu is the Deputy Vice Chancellor, University of Calabar, Nigeria and  Professor of Soil Science and Sustainable Agriculture.

He will be speaking on “Benefits of Sustainable Land Management”

In our era of escalating crisis and economic downturn, where the 2007-2008 food crisis is now a dormant but “forgotten crisis” and where governments are striving to implement bailout policies with little attention to the potentials of land and soils, it is of crucial importance to highlight the “Benefits of Sustainable Land Management” policies. Desertification, land degradation and drought affect more than 2 billion people and the situation might worsen due to the unsustainable use of soil and water under present scenarios of climate change. The UNCCD 10-year strategy points out the importance of science, knowledge sharing systems and awareness raising to support policymakers in reversing this trend. Sustainable land management practices, including sustainable agriculture, provide important local, regional and global Foreword Global Facts Drylands: a special concern 2.6 billion people depend directly on agriculture 52% of the land used for agriculture is moderately or severely affected by soil degradation 4-6 million ha of cultivated land are lost annually due to anthropogenic soil degradation Cropland in developing countries decreased from 0.43 ha to 0.26 ha per capita in the period form the 1960s to the 1990s 1.2 billion people live in areas where physical water is scarce 41% of the Earth’s surface area is drylands 2.6 billion people (44%) are affected by desertification Population growth was 18.5 % in dryland areas in the 1990s The GDP in dryland areas is 50% lower than in non-dryland areas Natural regeneration of vegetation cover and soils in arid areas takes 5-10 times longer than in favourable areas with greater and more regular rainfall. Benefits of Sustainable Land Management benefits. They also contribute positively to fundamental ecosystem services such as regulating water cycles, sequestering carbon, and helping to preserve agrobiodiversity.