we reached “Earth Overshoot day,” according to the Global Footprint Network report. This date marks the point when humanity has consumed all the natural resources that the Earth can generate in a year, using resources equivalent to 1.75 planets. At the same time, humanity is reducing its future capacity for regeneration and many countries risk losing fertile soils. Europe is not an exception.
Spain, Portugal, Italy, Greece, Cyprus, Bulgaria and Romania. These are the EU countries that will be particularly affected by desertification and therefore, more likely to lose natural resources in the coming years. The increases in temperatures, droughts, and less precipitation has made southern Europe vulnerable to problems such as “lower food production, soil infertility, decreases in the land’s natural resilience, and reduced water quality” as the European Court of Auditors (ECA) has pointed out in its report “Combating desertification in the EU.”
In other words, the economic model of production will be soon under threat. To resist this evolution, not only the EU must increase its efforts in fighting climate change, but also it is necessary to develop a specific legal framework for desertification and land degradation. Currently, there is a range of action plans such as the Common Agricultural Policy, the EU Forest Strategy, or the EU strategy on adaptation to climate change, “which are relevant to combating desertification, but which do not focus on it,” the ECA advises.