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Land degradation and pollution

Definition: Land pollution means degradation or destruction of earth’s surface and soil, directly or indirectly as a result of human activities.

Few facts about Land degradation and pollution:


  • Livestock waste majorly contributes to soil pollution.
  • Land pollution causes us to lose 24 billion tones of top soil every year. In the last 100 years we lost worldwide 1/3 of the top soil ground.
  • It takes at least 500 years for 2.5 centimeters of topsoil to regenerate.
  • Total land degradation affects some 1.9 billion hectares of land worldwide
  • The industrialised countries lose soil at a rate 17 times higher than it takes to generate new topsoil.
  • Up to 80 percent of land pollution is caused by energy production, food production and transportation.
  • Land pollution can cause skin problems, birth defects, respiratory issues and a number of other diseases.

Some global facts about the consequences of Land degradation and pollution:


  • 52% of the land used for agriculture is moderately or severely affected by soil degradation
  • Land degradation affects 1,5 billion people global
  • Nearly 1 billion people are going hungry
  • Land Degradation over the next 25 years may reduce global food production by up to 12% resulting in an increase of, as much as, 30% of world food prices
  • Land degradation jeopardizes biodiversity. Desertification affects the global loss of biodiversity; 27,000 species are lost each year
  • Some 50 million people may be displaced within the next 10 years as a result of desertification
  • Land pollution, combined with climate change and elevated levels of CO2 can block plant’s absorbtion of nitrates, leading to foods and crops with a reduced nutritional quality