Countries are defined, at least politically, by their borders, their coastal waters and - in many cases - their ability (and propensity) to use economic and military force outside those borders. China and the European Union are world powers because of economic size and sphere of influence. The United States maintains a global hegemony by a combination of influential economic and pro-active military force around the world. America, taking its lead from the perfidious British playbook, uses the 'invited to protect everyone' model for setting up consensual bases - in most cases - and not including current warzones, has significant permanent military bases in 70 countries. By comparison, the next three blue water powers (Britain, Russia and France) have a total of 30 military bases on foreign soil combined.
Economic interdependence is a fact of international trade and not necessarily a threat to the stability and freedom of the countries involved. Military aggression (or pressure) is a factor in international trade but not presently a crisis, simply because it has degraded into a deck-stacking exercise of big power bullying less developed countries, fucking around with who governs them, etc. There are crimes a-plenty in all uses of military force and this is no exception. It isn't, however, germane.
The global environment is. Climate change is. Ocean conditions are. Extreme weather is.
In the same way as all the neighbourhood's air is polluted if you have a fire of car tyres in your backyard, the actions (or inaction) of other countries, multinational corporations, and natural shifts in the planet itself, impact neighboring countries and - in many cases - all countries on Earth.
UNITED NATIONS IPCC FINDINGS (as of 2018)
Actions can be taken in the near-term, based on existing knowledge, to address desertification, land degradation and food security while supporting longer-term responses that enable adaptation and mitigation to climate change. One of the most stark conclusions in the IPCC report is that soil, upon which humanity is entirely dependent, is being lost more than 100 times faster than it is being formed in ploughed areas; and lost 10 to 20 times faster even on fields that are not tilled.
International progress is being made on:
- actions to build individual and institutional capacity
- accelerate knowledge transfer
- enhance technology transfer and deployment
- enable financial mechanisms
- implement early warning systems
- undertake risk management
- address gaps in implementation and upscaling
- Early warning systems for extreme weather and climate events are critical for protecting lives and property and enhancing disaster risk reduction and management.
- Seasonal forecasts and early warning systems are critical for food security (famine) and biodiversity monitoring including pests and diseases and adaptive climate risk management.
- There are high returns on investments in human and institutional capacities. These investments include access to observation and early warning systems, and other services derived from in-situ hydro-meteorological and remote sensing-based monitoring systems and data, field observation, inventory and survey, and expanded use of digital technologies
- Framing land management in terms of risk management, specific to land, can play an important role in adaptation through landscape approaches, biological control of outbreaks of pests and diseases, and improving risk sharing and transfer mechanisms.
- Providing information on climate-related risk can improve the capacity of land managers and enable timely decision making
- While they can require an upfront investment, actions to ensure sustainable land management can improve crop yields and the economic value of pasture. Land restoration and rehabilitation measures improve livelihood systems and provide both short-term positive economic returns and longer-term benefits in terms of climate change adaptation and mitigation, biodiversity, and enhanced ecosystem functions and services
- Delayed action across sectors leads to an increasing need for widespread deployment of land-based adaptation and mitigation options and can result in a decreasing potential for the array of these options in most regions of the world and limit their current and future effectiveness.
- Near-term action to address climate change adaptation and mitigation, desertification, land degradation and food security can bring social, ecological, economic and development co-benefits
- Co-benefits can contribute to poverty eradication and more resilient livelihoods for those who are vulnerable
- Sustainable land management can be improved by increasing the availability and accessibility of data and information relating to the effectiveness, co-benefits and risks of emerging response options and increasing the efficiency of land use.
- Deferral of GHG emissions reductions from all sectors implies trade-offs including irreversible loss in land ecosystem functions and services required for food, health, habitable settlements and production, leading to increasingly significant economic impacts on many countries in many regions of the world.
- The potential for some response options, such as increasing soil organic carbon, decreases as climate change intensifies, as soils have reduced capacity to act as sinks for carbon sequestration at higher temperatures.
International progress is poor to variable on:
- Acting now may avert or reduce risks and losses, and generate benefits to society. Prompt action on climate mitigation and adaptation aligned with sustainable land management and sustainable development depending on the region could reduce the risk to millions of people from climate extremes, desertification, land degradation, and food and livelihood insecurity.
- Measuring and monitoring land-use change including land degradation and desertification is supported by the expanded use of new information and communication technologies (cell phone based applications, cloud-based services, ground sensors, drone imagery), use of climate services, and remotely sensed land and climate information on land resources.
- Near-term capacity-building, technology transfer and deployment, and enabling financial mechanisms can strengthen adaptation and mitigation in the land sector. Knowledge and technology transfer can help enhance the sustainable use of natural resources for food security under a changing climate.
- Many sustainable land management technologies and practices are profitable within three to ten years.
- Raising awareness, capacity building and education about sustainable land management practices, agricultural extension and advisory services, and expansion of access to agricultural services to producers and land users can effectively address land degradation
- Investments in land restoration can result in global benefits and in drylands can have benefit-cost ratios of between three and six in terms of the estimated economic value of restored ecosystem services.
- Some response options (e.g., improved soil carbon management) have been implemented only at small-scale demonstration facilities, and knowledge, financial, and institutional gaps and challenges exist with upscaling and the widespread deployment of these options
- Near-term actions to promote sustainable land management will help reduce land and food-related vulnerabilities and can create more resilient livelihoods, reduce land degradation and desertification, and loss of biodiversity.
- There are synergies between sustainable land management, poverty eradication efforts, access to market, non-market mechanisms, and the elimination of low-productivity practices. Maximizing these synergies can lead to adaptation, mitigation, and development of co-benefits through preserving ecosystem functions and services.
- Upfront investments in sustainable land management practices and technologies can range from about USD20 ha-1 to USD5000 ha-1, with a median estimated to be around USD500 ha-1. Government support and improved access to credit can help overcome barriers to adoption, especially those faced by poor smallholder farmers.
- Near-term change to balanced diets (SPM B6.2.) can reduce the pressure on land and provide significant health co-benefits through improving nutrition
- Rapid reductions in anthropogenic GHG emissions across all sectors following ambitious mitigation pathways reduce the negative impacts of climate change on land ecosystems and food systems.
- Delaying climate mitigation and adaptation responses across sectors would lead to increasingly negative impacts on land and reduce the prospect of sustainable development
- Delaying action as is assumed in high emissions scenarios could result in some irreversible impacts on some ecosystems, which in the longer-term has the potential to lead to substantial additional GHG emissions from ecosystems that would accelerate global warming
- In future scenarios, deferral of GHG emissions reductions implies trade-offs leading to significantly higher costs and risks associated with rising temperatures.
- Delays in avoiding or reducing land degradation and promoting positive ecosystem restoration risk long-term impacts including rapid declines in productivity of agriculture and rangelands, permafrost degradation and difficulties in peatland resetting