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18th November 2023 (10 Topics)

Report on Sand and dust storm (SDS) released

Context:

According to the UN Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD), sand and dust storms are an underappreciated problem now “dramatically” more frequent in some places worldwide, with at least 25% of the phenomenon attributed to human activities.

About the report:

  • UNCCD meeting in Samarkand, Uzbekistan, reviews global progress on Convention implementation.
  • Sand and dust storms (SDS) discussed as a major environmental challenge.

Highlights of the Report:

  • As per the report, two billion tons of sand and dust, equal in weight to 350 Great Pyramids of Giza, enter the atmosphere every year.
  • Key Issues:
    • SDS exacerbated by poor land and water management, droughts, and climate change.
    • Fluctuations in intensity, magnitude, or duration make SDS unpredictable and dangerous.
  • Concerns highlighted:
    • SDS has trans-boundary impacts affecting environment, climate, health, agriculture, and livelihoods.
    • Source areas experience crop damage, livestock impact, and topsoil erosion.
  • Policy Recommendations:
    • UNCCD, FAO, and partners provide guidance through the Sand and Dust Storms Compendium and SDS Toolbox.
    • Recommendations cover data collection, monitoring, early warning, impact mitigation, and anthropogenic source mitigation.
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