Our Focus

By 2020, promote the implementation of sustainable management of all types of forests, halt deforestation, restore degraded forests and substantially increase afforestation and reforestation globally
By 2030, ensure the conservation of mountain ecosystems, including their biodiversity, in order to enhance their capacity to provide benefits that are essential for sustainable development



      Global rates of soil displacement by water erosion

      SOURCE: World Atlas of Desertification

      Borelli, P. et al., 2017

      The map illustrates the soil erosion rates divided into seven classes according to the European Soil Bureau classification. The colour gradation from green to red indicates the intensity of the predicted erosion rates. The baseline model predicts an annual average potential soil erosion amount of 35 Pg yr-1 for 2001, with an area-specific soil erosion average of 2.8 Mg ha-1 yr-1. In 2012, an overall increase of 2.5 % in soil erosion (35.9 Pg yr-1), driven by spatial changes of land use, was estimated. The estimates are predicted through a RUSLE-based modelling approach. The Revised Universal Soil Loss Equation (RUSLE) belongs to the detachment-limited model types, where the estimate of soil erosion (expressed as a mass of soil lost per unit area and time, Mg ha-1 yr-1) due to inter-rill and rill erosion processes is given by the multiplication of contributing factors, including rainfall erosivity, soil erodibility, slope, crop management and support practices. The model provides rates on an approximately 250 × 250 m cell basis for the land surface of 202 countries (ca. 2.89 billion cells; ~125 million km2), covering about 84.1 % of the Earth’s land. Being a global model, the map also covers areas where there is no direct anthropogenic impact.