We all live off the land. And although we are truly encouraged by the new agreement reached this week at COP21 in Paris, collectively, we have a long way to go to implement the planned mitigation of climate change and other Sustainable Development Goals. This week, our post focuses on land. Drip irrigation is at the nexus of water, food, energy and land use, optimizing climate smart agriculture to grow more with less.
UN SDG Goal 15 is about protecting our land-based eco-systems including biodiversity and our ability to derive life-supporting renewable resources from land. This goes beyond the 2.6 billion people who are directly involved in agriculture and encompasses our global population who need land-derived resources to survive and thrive. The UN notes that 52% of the land used for agriculture is affected by soil degradation and the equivalent of 20 million tons of grain each year are lost due to drought and desertification. UN SDG Goal 15 includes targets to ensure the conservation and restoration of ecosystems and to combat desertification and restore degraded land and soil affected by drought and floods.
Specifically, at Netafim, we have engaged in initiatives that combat desertification. In fact, our entire history and development is one of reversing the effects of desertification in Israel, where we have helped transform entire communities into thriving desert economies. You can read more about our water technologies and rehabilitation of water systems in Seth Siegel’s recent book, Let There Be Water: Israel’s Solution for a Water-Starved World
In an example from China, Netafim works with Elion Resources Group and the Chinese government in an ongoing initiative to reduce desertification by integrating sustainable agriculture in the Kubuqi Desert. Elion has been working on ecological transformation in the Kubuqi Desert for many years. Our contribution, which commenced in 2013, included installation of drip irrigation to create a “green belt” in the desert region. The Kubuqi region is characterized by sandy soil, low water availability, and sandstorms that create challenges for micro-irrigation. We designed a system across 200 hectares to withstand the rough desert conditions and trained 100 desert farmers in the use of drip irrigation, providing agronomic support and ongoing advice.
At Netafim, we say Down with Desertification! And we provide the tools that can help advance UN SDG Goal 15 to support Life on Land.
Read more posts in our “Advancing the SDGs” series.