More fertile land will be needed as the global demand for food, water and energy will increase with population growth, a senior official with the U.N. Convention to Combat Desertification said.
"Due to population growth, the demand for food will increase by 35 percent and 40 percent for water while energy demand will increase by 50 percent by 2030, which means there will be a need for more fertile land," said Monique Barbut – the convention's executive secretary – as she addressed the 12th session of the convention's Conference of Parties in Ankara on Tuesday.
Barbut pointed out that the world population will hit the 11 billion mark by 2050. Half will live on the African continent with Nigeria's population surpassing that of the U.S.
The population growth will trigger a rise in the need for food and soil productivity, she said.
"The next young and dynamic generation will need much more food, energy and employment, which will be one of the greatest challenges the world will face," she said.
Barbut stressed that, every year, 12 million hectares of land become deserts globally, adding that global warming will further add to the need for renewable energy resources.
"Considering the challenges posed by climate change, we have a duty to leave a long-term heritage in a short span of time with limited resources," she added.
Anadolu Agency is the global communication partner of the event, which runs until Oct. 23 at the Ankara Congresium International Convention and Exhibition Center.
According to U.N., more than 250 million people around the world are affected by desertification and a further 1.2 billion in 110 countries are threatened.
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