Facts Corner-Part-72

Global Land Outlook

The first edition of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification’s (UNCCD) Global Land Outlook (GLO) was published in September 2017. The GLO is a strategic communications platform and publication that demonstrates the central importance of land quality to human well-being, assesses current trends in land conversion, degradation and loss, identifies the driving factors and analyzes the impacts, provides scenarios for future challenges and opportunities, and presents a new and transformative vision for land management policy, planning and practice at global and national scales.

Bringing together a diverse group of international experts and partners, the GLO addresses the future challenges and opportunities for the management and restoration of land resources in the context of sustainable development, including:

  • food, water and energy security;
  • climate change and biodiversity conservation;
  • urban, peri-urban and infrastructure development;
  • land tenure, governance and gender; and
  • migration, conflict and human security.


  • Trends.Earth is a land degradation monitoring tool which was produced as part of the project “Enabling the use of global data sources to assess and monitor land degradation at multiple scales”, funded by the Global Environment Facility. Conservation International is the implementing agency of the aforementioned project.
  • The Land Degradation Monitoring Project is a partnership of Conservation International, Lund University, and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), and is funded by the Global Environment Facility (GEF).

United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification 

  • The United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) is the only legally binding international agreement on land issues.
  • The Convention promotes good land stewardship. Its 197 Parties aim, through partnerships, to implement the Convention and achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.
  • The end goal is to protect land from over-use and drought, so it can continue to provide food, water and energy.
  • By sustainably managing land and striving to achieve Land Degradation Neutrality, now and in the future, not only will the impact of climate change be reduced, but a conflict over natural resources will be avoided.   
  • The Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change is the nodal Ministry for this Convention, as well as the other two Rio Conventions – United Nations Framework Convention to Combat Climate Change and the Convention on Biological  Diversity, having their genesis in the Earth Summit in 1992 in Rio De Janerio, Brazil.

Vector Borne Diseases

  • Vector-borne diseases are human illnesses caused by parasites, viruses and bacteria that are transmitted by mosquitoes, sandflies, triatomine bugs, blackflies, ticks, tsetse flies, mites, snails and lice. Every year there are more than 700 000 deaths from diseases such as malaria, dengue, schistosomiasis, human African trypanosomiasis, leishmaniasis, Chagas disease, yellow fever, Japanese encephalitis and onchocerciasis, globally.
  • The major vector-borne diseases, together, account for aeround 17% of all infectious diseases. The burden of these diseases is highest in tropical and subtropical areas and they disproportionately affect the poorest populations. Since 2014, major outbreaks of dengue, malaria, chikungunya yellow fever and Zika have afflicted populations, claimed lives and overwhelmed health systems in many countries.
  • Distribution of vector-borne diseases is determined by complex demographic, environmental and social factors. Global travel and trade, unplanned urbanization and environmental challenges such as climate change can impact on pathogen transmission, making transmission season longer or more intense or causing diseases to emerge in countries where they were previously unknown.
  • Changes in agricultural practices due to variation in temperature and rainfall can affect the transmission of vector-borne diseases. The growth of urban slums, lacking reliable piped water or adequate solid waste management, can render large populations in towns and cities at risk of viral diseases spread by mosquitoes. Together, such factors influence the reach of vector populations and the transmission patterns of disease-causing pathogens.

The Arakan Mountains

  • They are a series of parallel ridges arcing through Assam, Nagaland, Mizoram, Burma and are submerged in the Bay of Bengal for a long stretch emerging again in the form of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands.
  • The Arakan Mountains (also called Rakhine ranges) and the parallel arcs to the west and east were formed by compression as the Indian Plate collided with the Eurasian Plate approximately along the boundary between India and Nepal.
  • The Arakan Mountains act as a barrier to the south-western monsoon rains and thus shield the central Myanmar area, making their western slopes extraordinarily wet during the monsoon.

Earth System Science Partnership (ESSP)

  • It is a partnership under the auspices of the International Council for Science (ICSU) for the integrated study of the Earth system, the ways that it is changing, and the implications for global and regional sustainability. It includes Diversitas (an integrated programme of biodiversity science), IGBP, WCRP and IHDP.
  • The central activities of the ESSP are Joint Projects on issues of global sustainability, designed to address the global environmental change aspects of four critical issues for human well-being: energy and the carbon cycle (GCP), food security (GECAFS), water resources (GWSP) and human health (GEC&HH).
  • The ESSP is also currently developing a small set of Integrated Regional Studies (IRS), designed to contribute sound scientific understanding in support of sustainable development at the local level. The first study is in Monsoon Asia (MAIRS). The Joint ProjectsSTARTand MAIRS all have a strong suite of capacity building and networking elements to their activities. ESSP Partners also collaborate closely with the Asia-Pacific Network for Global Change Research (APN) and the Inter-American Institute for Global Change Research (IAI).


Plants, animals, their genetic diversity and their diverse habitats are being threatened as never before by factors such as habitat loss, overexploitation of resources or climate change – all of which result from human activities. These changes in biodiversity will have far-reaching and often unanticipated consequences on our Planet’s life-support systems and on the services that humans derive from ecosystems. DIVERSITAS provides an international framework for scientists around the world to address the questions posed by biodiversity loss.

The missions of DIVERSITAS are:

  • Promote an integrative biodiversity science, linking biological, ecological and social disciplines in an effort to produce socially relevant new knowledge
  • Provide the scientific basis for the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity
  • Draw out the implications for policies for conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity


  • Develop common international frameworks for collaborative research;
  • Form research networks to tackle focused scientific questions;
  • Promote standardised methodologies;
  • Guide and facilitate construction of global databases;
  • Facilitate efficient patterns of resource allocation, and undertake analysis, synthesis and integration activities on particular biodiversity themes;
  • Promote practical application of cutting-edge science to support policy and contributing to the Convention on Biological Diversity.

World Climate Research Programme

  • The WCRP was established in 1980, under the joint sponsorship of International Council for Science (ICSU) and the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), and has also been sponsored by the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) of UNESCO since 1993.
  • The World Climate Research Programme is uniquely positioned to draw on the totality of climate-related systems, facilities and intellectual capabilities of more than 185 countries. Integrating new observations, research facilities and scientific breakthroughs is essential to progress in the inherently global task of advancing understanding of the processes that determine our climate.

The two overarching objectives of the WCRP are:

  1. to determine the predictability of climate;
  2. to determine the effect of human activities on climate.

To achieve its objectives, the WCRP adopts a multi-disciplinary approach, organizes large-scale observational and modelling projects and facilitates focus on aspects of climate too large and complex to be addressed by any one nation or single scientific discipline.


  • It is an ecological area that supports a particular range of biological communities.
  • Biotope is almost synonymous with the term habitat. 
  • A biotope is generally not considered to be a large-scale phenomenon.
  • For example, a biotope might be a neighbouring park, a back garden, even potted plants or a fish tank on a porch.
  • In other words, the biotope is not a macroscopic but a microscopic approach to preserving the ecosystem and biological diversity.
  • It is commonly emphasised that biotopes should not be isolated. Instead biotopes need to be connected to each other and other surrounding life for without these connections to life-forms such as animals and plants, biotopes would not effectively work as a place in which diverse organisms live.
  • So one of the most effective strategies for regenerating biotopes is to plan a stretch of biotopes, not just a point where animals and plants come and go. (Such an organic traffic course is called a corridor.


  • It refers to the beneficial or harmful effects of one plant on another plant, both crop and weed species, from the release of biochemicals, known as allelochemicals.
  • It is a process by which a plant releases chemicals that can inhibit its competitors.
  • Soil sickness, a general term for a problem that may well be caused by residues of allelochemicals that persist in the soil after the plant is gone, may make some sites unsuitable for growing other plants.
  • Allelopathic chemicals can be present in any part of the plant. They can be found in leaves, flowers, roots, fruits, or stems.  
  • They can also be found in the surrounding soil. The toxic chemicals may inhibit shoot/root growth, they may inhibit nutrient uptake, or they may attack a naturally occurring symbiotic relationship thereby destroying the plant’s usable source of a nutrient.

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