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June 16, 2024
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A Third of Romania’s Territory at Risk for Desertification

Amplified by climate change, desertification and drought are challenges for the whole world, affecting Romania as well. This was the gist of the message Klaus Johannis, the head of the Romanian State, sent on World Environment Day, June 5.

According to the UN, globally, the number and duration of droughts have increased by 29% since 2000, and if urgent action is not taken, drought could affect more than three-quarters of the world’s population by 2050. Land degradation has a direct impact on people’s incomes and health. A third of Romania’s territory and 40% of the agricultural area are located in areas at risk of desertification. Desertification negatively influences ecosystems, agricultural land productivity and people’s standard of living, especially those already vulnerable, endangering food security, the economy and the environment, Romania’s President Klaus Johannis mentioned.

Johannis says Romania is part of the international efforts to improve the land situation and combat desertification and drought. It is essential to continue the efforts in this regard.

Because at the national level, the increase in average annual temperatures and the decrease in average annual precipitation have become two predominant trends, Romania invests as a priority in increasing the capacity to understand and manage drought effectively. Thus, in a short time, the Regional Agrometeorological Center for Europe of the World Meteorological Organization will become operational in Romania, supporting the sustainable development of agricultural systems in the context of accelerating climate change. In recent years, measures related to the protection of forests, the expansion of forest areas and sustainable agricultural practices have been implemented in our country with the help of European funds. Through the National Recovery and Resilience Program, there are activities of afforestation of degraded and sandy lands and reconstruction of forest habitats.

Klaus Johannis, Romania’s President, on World Environment Day

The head of state stated that attention must be given to the afforestation process, especially to counties with a forest deficit, degraded lands, and areas exposed to an additional risk of desertification in the context of climate change. In his opinion, the development of urban forests and the restoration of green rings around large cities facing increased air pollution are significant.

Climate change is visible. According to Copernicus, the EU’s system for monitoring climate change, the average global temperature over the last 12 months was 1.63 degrees above these pre-industrial levels.

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