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Global Assessment of Land Degradation and Improvement, 2008

Published July 2008

The United Nations' Food and Agriculture Organization produced this report on land degradation, using data collected over a period of 20 years. The press release states, "Defined as a long-term decline in ecosystem function and productivity, land degradation is increasing in severity and extent in many parts of the world, with more than 20 percent of all cultivated areas, 30 percent of forests and 10 percent of grasslands undergoing degradation.

An estimated 1.5 billion people, or a quarter of the world’s population, depend directly on land that is being degraded.

The consequences of land degradation include reduced productivity, migration, food insecurity, damage to basic resources and ecosystems, and loss of biodiversity through changes to habitats at both species and genetic levels."

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