Integrated Planning and Management of Land ResourcesFAOCSDUNEP
World Summit on Sustainable Development, South Africa 2002

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Looking Forward to Rio+10: Reporting Progress on Land and Agriculture

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Message 44

Subject: Message 44 - Comment by Hari Eswaran on Intervention by Miguel Al tieri (Message 39) Date: Wed, 21 Mar 2001 11:49:38 +0100 From: RIO10-Moderator To: "'RIO10-L@mailserv.fao.org'" Food Security and sustainable agriculture: Few can disagree on all the comments that have been made until now. Every one is correct but I suspect that if the problems and constraints that have been highlighted are corrected, we may make some progress but perhaps not too great. When I look at the emphasis of all the UN efforts, there is necessarily the human dimension (essential), there is economics, and there are policy changes to be made. However, no one wants to make an investment in the land resources (apart from brave words). What do we know? 1. There are practically no developing countries with farm-level soil maps; 2. Many of these countries do not have the necessary facilities for support services to the farmer; 3. So the farmer is left to him/herself while we clear forests to publish our brave notions. Some basic questions: 1. Where in a country is the degraded land? 2. If degraded, what kind of degradation? 3. What kind of mitigation technology is most appropriate? If we cannot provide reasonable answers to these basic questions, we will continue to state the same in RIO+20. Some will argue that models are fantastic today and they can provide the answers. The problem in developing countries is that there are too many models chasing too few data. So, my plea is to make that effort to document the sate of the land resources. If you do not know what you have, you will not know what you have to do. Dr. Hari Eswaran USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service

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