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According to the United Nations, degradation affects up to 50 percent of the Planet's rangelands. Photo: ILRI/Stevie Mann CC BY 2.0 DEED Attribution 2.0 GenericILRI/Stevie Mann CC BY 2.0 DEED Attribution 2.0 Generic

“Half of the Planet’s rangelands are degraded,” UN says

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A snapshot from the latest UNCCD Report: degradation affects up to 50 percent of rangelands, twice as much as previous estimates. Central Asia and North Africa are the hardest hit areas
Microbes can protect sorghum from being attacked by parasitic plants. Photo: National Parks Gallery Public Domain DedicationNational Parks Gallery Public Domain Dedication

This is how soil microbes fight plant infections

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According to University of California Davis research, certain strains of soil microbes act on the roots of sorghum plants, protecting them from external threats
Microbes may be a viable solution to managing desertification. Photo: Richard Allaway CC BY 2.0 DEED Attribution 2.0 GenericPhoto: Richard Allaway CC BY 2.0 DEED Attribution 2.0 Generic

Microbes are a key resource for slowing desertification

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Chinese investigation shows how microbes play a relevant role in countering desertification through their ability to manage essential soil nutrients
The Ruki provides 20 percent of the dissolved carbon in the Congo River. Photo: International Rivers CC BY-SA 4.0 DEED Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 InternationalInternational Rivers CC BY-SA 4.0 DEED Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International

Analysis of a river in Congo reveals carbon dynamics

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As a tributary of the Congo River, the Ruki provides one-fifth of the dissolved carbon in the region's main waterway. A figure that suggests a lower sequestration capacity by the local forest, says a research
By 2022, forest destruction in Ghana increased by 71%, the highest figure on the planet. Photo: Maite Knorr-Evans, World Resources Institute Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)Maite Knorr-Evans, World Resources Institute Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

Destruction of tropical forests increased by 10% in 2022

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Despite formal commitments made in Glasgow in 2021, the loss of primary rainforests in the tropics is increasing, says Global Forest Watch. Brazil tops the list. The cases of Congo R.D., Ghana and Bolivia are also worrying
At current rates of extraction, phosphorus production is expected to reach its peak around 2050. Photo: Mick Crawley Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic (CC BY-SA 2.0)Mick Crawley Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Global agriculture must reduce its dependence on phosphorus

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Half of the available phosphorus in the soil comes from mineral fertilizers. Europe, Asia and North America show the highest concentrations. French researchers, "We need to accelerate the agroecological transition in rich countries by allocating the remaining resources to the global South"
Sacks of gum arabic at the market in Al Obaied, Sudan. The country is the world's second-largest producer of this resin extracted from acacia and used in the food and pharmaceutical industries. Photo: Salahaldeen Nadir / World Bank Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)Salahaldeen Nadir / World Bank Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

In Sudan, gum arabic cultivation promotes soil conservation

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As the world's second-largest producer of gum arabic, Sudan is called upon to protect acacia trees, the plants from which the substance is generated and which have always proved an effective weapon in countering desertification
By consuming plant material, herbivores divert potential fuel from wildfires. Photo: World Wildlife CC0 1.0 Universal (CC0 1.0) Public Domain DedicationWorld Wildlife CC0 1.0 Universal (CC0 1.0) Public Domain Dedication

Herbivores are a surprising ally of climate and soil

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Far from being destructive, herbivores contribute to climate change mitigation, according to a new research. Their ability to prevent wildfires and return carbon and seeds to the soil is crucial
The extensive use of charcoal, which 90 percent of the population routinely uses as a cheap fuel at home, fuels deforestation in Tanzania. Photo: KelvinJM Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International (CC BY-SA 4.0)Photo: KelvinJM Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International (CC BY-SA 4.0)

Charcoal and poverty fuel deforestation in Tanzania

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Deforestation is a result of the national and international economic scenarios, British newspaper The Guardian writes. Environmental policies are ineffective. And the problem affects many African countries
The Congo River Basin is home to one-fifth of the world's plant and animal species. Photo: Corinne Staley Attribution-NonCommercial 2.0 Generic (CC BY-NC 2.0)Photo: Corinne Staley Attribution-NonCommercial 2.0 Generic (CC BY-NC 2.0)

Deforestation in the Congo Basin is growing at an alarming rate

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In 2021, deforestation in the Congo Basin increased by 4.9 percent affecting more than 630 thousand hectares of land. This is a particularly worrying trend, explains the Dutch NGO Climate Focus, when considering the area's importance for climate mitigation and biodiversity