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Şemsi Bayraktar: Let’s Work Hand In Hand For Lands

Turkey Union of Chambers of Agriculture (TZOB) Chairman Şemsi Bayraktar, declaring that everyone should understand the importance of soil, “We should go hand in hand for lands. We must remember that our future depends on the protection of our agricultural lands, forests and wetlands.”

Bayraktar, in his statement, said that the protection of land and the future of agriculture is directly related to the natural structure.

“Erosion, salinity and wasteland and incorrect and unintended use of agricultural lands are the most important problem of our country’s soil. Due to population growth, the pressure on the land is intensifying every year. The United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification was adopted by the United Nations on 17 June 1994 to develop a common fight against drought and desertification as a result of various factors including climate change and human impacts, a common problem of all countries in the world. Our country has accepted this agreement in 1998. The World Day to Combat Desertification activities, which are celebrated every year in different countries, are proud to be celebrated in our country this year. The United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) has set the main theme of the World Day for Combating Desertification as ‘Hand in Hand for the Land’ this year. With this theme in mind, we have to protect our lands together hand in hand” Bayraktar suggested.

– 1.5 billion people affected in 168 countries –

Pointing out that desertification and drought directly affect one quarter of the land areas, 168 countries and 1.5 billion people, Bayraktar gave the following information:

“About 250 million of this population is at serious risk, while about 10 million have to migrate due to desertification / land destruction and drought. Due to desertification / land degradation and drought, 12 million hectares of agricultural land is degraded and 5.6 million hectares of forest land is decreasing each year.

According to our country’s Desertification Risk Map, approximately 20 percent of our lands are in the weak, 52 percent are in the middle and 19 percent are in the high risk group. There is microclimate in our region showing features such as Konya in Turkey and this constitutes our hot spot areas in terms of desertification. While Konya-Karapınar, Iğdır-Aralık and Urfa-Ceylanpınar are seen as very high risk regions, the Tuz Gölü basin, Ereğli-Karaman region and the Urfa-Ceylanpınar-Mardin-Batman line constitute the medium and high risk group around Eskişehir. The Black Sea region, where green, rain and moisture are abundant, is in the lowest risk class.”

Bayraktar also noted that the topography is very hilly, besides the different climatic characteristics, the destruction and insufficiency of the vegetation cover, the improper use of agricultural and forest lands, wrong agricultural practices, excessive and irregular use of pastures, unconscious and excessive irrigation, soil pollution and wild mining activities accelerate desertification.

– Forests are of great importance in combating desertification and erosion –

Emphasizing the importance of conservation, development and expansion of forests in combating desertification and erosion, Bayraktar concluded: “In the planning and implementation of forestry activities, soil protection measures should be implemented taking into account the risk of erosion, and an effective inspection should be performed in terms of erosion and soil protection in areas allocated for non-forestry activities. Natural processes such as landslides and erosion play an important role in soil losses.

But unsustainable land use, inappropriate agricultural activities, and human activities such as harvesting and burning stubble, which damage organic materials of the soil, pose a greater threat to the loss of biodiversity in the soil than the natural cycle. Turkey desertification, water erosion, wind erosion, landslide and avalanche risk maps must be made. During the consolidation of agricultural lands, areas where wind erosion will occur, wind curtain, green belt and afforestation for recreation purposes should be planned.

Wastewater and drainage water returned from agriculture should not be used in agriculture without proper treatment in order to prevent soil degradation and decrease in fertility. Necessary measures should be taken to base the use of fertilizer and pesticides on the results of soil and plant analysis. ”
Bayraktar pointed out that global measures should be taken in order to prevent land degradation and to protect the soil, which continues to increase every year.”

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