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"44 trillion dollars, about half of the global annual economic output is at risk because of the climate crisis"

The Secretary of the UN Desert Convention, Ibrahim Theo, said these things at the International Desert Conference held at the Desert Research Institute in Sde Boker. Lack of water, crops will fail, plants will stop growing, immigration will expand even more - and conflicts in the world will only increase."

Group photo of the conference participants Photo: Wolfgang Motzafi-Heller

Group photo of the conference participants Photo: Wolfgang Motzafi-Heller

5 days, 250 researchers, 1,000 participants from more than 50 countries came to the international desert conference that took place last week at the Yaakov Blaustein Desert Research Institute of Ben-Gurion University of the Negev. At the conference, the newest studies examining the various effects of the desert phenomenon, which is expanding in the world, were presented.

"As of today, almost 50% of the earth is defined as an arid region and in not many years 90% of the globe will suffer from various effects of the phenomenon", explains Prof. Shimon Rahmilevich, chairman of the conference and a researcher at the Desert Research Institutes at Ben-Gurion University. Despite the expansion of the phenomenon, it still does not receive the attention it deserves in the world. "The desert suffers from serious problems in public relations. Among other things, because unlike terms such as "climate change", "global warming" and "carbon emissions", it is very difficult to explain to the general public, in simple words - the extensive effects of the phenomenon on the lives of each of us", explains Prof. Avigad Vanshek, from the institutes .

Ibrahim Theo, Secretary of the United Nations Convention on Deserts (UNCCD) said at the conference: “$44 trillion, about half of the world's annual economic output is at risk due to the ongoing deterioration. When the soils are affected by droughts, by climatic changes, they deteriorate in terms of their ecological system. The soils lose their carrying capacity and sustainability. This situation affects food security, water shortages, crops will fail, plants will stop growing, immigration will expand even more - and conflicts in the world will only increase."

"The economic returns of soil restoration and reduction of greenhouse gas emissions and loss of biodiversity are up to 140 trillion dollars annually. This is up to 1.5 times the global GDP in 2021. The soil is the most important natural integrator and accelerator in the world. It is land-based natural capital that brings together financial, social and human capital. This is why land reclamation can create millions of 'green' jobs and other economic opportunities for a growing and young population. A restoration economy can reach far beyond the agriculture, forestry or conservation sectors through new business models and developing technologies."

Tour as part of the desert conference. Photograph of the desert conference speakers
Tour as part of the desert conference. Photograph of the desert conference speakers

Due to the fact that fifty percent of the Earth is arid, but the amount of research conducted there is very limited, as part of the conference, representatives from leading research institutes from five continents met in order to identify the main issues on which it is important to focus environmental research in arid regions in the coming years and formulated a joint position paper. This is in order to identify the main issues that are important to promote in cooperation in order to provide a more accurate response to the processes of climate change and desertification. Prof. Nurit Agam from the Desert Research Institutes at Ben Gurion University in the Negev She stated that "the scope of research in these areas must increase significantly in order to consolidate a deeper understanding of climate change processes and desertification." The combined research will help us understand how to utilize the desert's treasures in a way that will ensure its preservation for future generations and will improve dealing with the issue of food security for the population of Kadva in these areas - and in general."

Prof. Daniel Haimowitz, president of Ben Gurion University of the Negev, said at the opening of the conference: "The vision of the first Prime Minister, David Ben-Gurion, is being realized before our eyes when hundreds of scientists and researchers from all over the world are exposed to the secrets of the Negev, learn about the latest technologies coming out of the Israeli desert, research how to extract energy from the sun, water from the air, food from the sands and use resources for the benefit of our country and the benefit of the world . He foresaw what the rest of the world realized only recently: the problem of climate change is not a local matter for each and every region, but is a global crisis that affects each and every one of us. This is why Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, through the School of Sustainability and Climate Change and the Institutes for Desert Research, invests enormous resources in promoting joint research with colleagues from all over the world. We will spare nothing in the constant search for solutions. This is our duty to ourselves as scientists, this is our duty to the earth as citizens of the world and this is our duty to future generations."

Prof. Shimon Rahmilevich, Chairman of the International Desert Conference said that: "In a short time, 70% of the surface of Kadava will be arid. The war in the desert is already relevant today to 90% of the earth. Desert areas have increased in the last 15 years to almost 50% of the land on earth and are expected to reach over 70% in a short time. It is time to act in a multidisciplinary manner."

Prof. Noam Visbrod, Director of the Desert Research Institutes at Ben Gurion University in the Negev: "We live in a time when global changes emphasize the extreme sensitivity of dry areas to the availability of water, food and energy and to the loss of biological diversity in the Middle East. Many studies have shown that climate change is affecting dry areas more than any other part of the world and that desertification is currently directly affecting more than 170 countries. These facts illustrate the enormous importance of this conference. Arid areas currently make up about 47% of the world's land area and are home to more than 2 billion people. Therefore, the sustainable development of continents is essential for the future of humanity worldwide. We are happy to host here at the desert research institutes researchers and professionals who study and apply innovative technologies to make the desert flourish, fight desertification, mitigate the effects of climate change in dry areas and improve our ability to adapt."

More of the topic in Hayadan:

3 תגובות

  1. I understand that you appreciate, like your friends the oil gods, the service that nature gives us in zero. This is short-term and even anachronistic evidence. Humans are also part of nature and are also affected by it.

  2. If a polar bear breaks off with his iceberg and reaches the shores of London, if some body of leftists brings him fish to reduce the panic, and if he accidentally turns into a Louis Vuitton carpet that will be thrown in Buckingham Palace and some poor person once a week will pass it over to Dyson, I won't care so much.

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