UN warns about increasing soil pollution

Garbage Pollution SoilGarbage. Photo: Pixabay.com

UN warns about increasing soil pollution worldwide

Pollution of the soil is a rapidly increasing threat to the environment, the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) warns about in a recent report.


In the report, the FAO states, among other things, that there is still little awareness of the extent of the pollution and how serious the problem is. Additionally there is too little awareness of the matter, according to the UN organization, which has gathered most of the available knowledge in its report «Soil pollution: A hidden reality».

– The lack of data means that one of the world’s biggest problems remains invisible, the report states.

– The more we learn, the more we understand that we need clean soil, FAO communications director Enrique Yeves said when the report was presented in Rome this week.

Toxic waste and pesticides

FAO is particularly concerned with toxic waste stemming from chemical production. For example, 319 metric ton of chemical waste were dumped by European companies in 2015. Of this, 117 ton are considered to be downright hazardous to the environment.

According to the report, as much as 3 million areas in Europe are possibly contaminated. The same applies to at least 1,300 areas in the United States. Chinese Environmental Authorities estimate that 19 per cent of the Chinese agricultural land is contaminated.

Garbage from the world’s cities is also an ever increasing problem. In 2012, 1.3 billion metric ton of garbage was produced, but the amount is estimated to rise to 2.2 billion ton by 2025.

Another huge problem is pesticides. Several developing countries have increased the use of these considerably in recent years. In Rwanda and Ethiopia, its use is sixfold, while it is quadrupled in Bangladesh and a mind blowing tenfold in the Sudan.


© NTB Scanpix / #Norway Today