The UN secretary-general on Wednesday called for global action and solidarity to keep nature healthy — a “new contract for nature.”

“Through international action and solidarity we can scale up land restoration and nature-based solutions for climate action and the benefits of future generations,” Antonio Guterres said in a video message on the occasion of World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought.

Stressing that the health of humanity is connected with the health of the planet, he said land degradation affects 3.2 billion people, and 70% of the world’s land was transformed by human activity: “Today, our planet is ailing,” he said.

“We can reverse this trend and bring solutions to a wide range of challenges, from forced migration and hunger to climate change … such efforts bring back biodiversity, reduce the effects of climate change and make communities more resilient,” the UN chief said, referring to land restoration and nature-based solutions.

Marked annually on June 17, the UN observance focuses on changing public attitudes, and highlighting methods to prevent desertification and recover from drought.

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