Field of action 5: Securing natural resources (water, soils)
The global demand for resources already exceeds what the Earth itself can renew. Global population growth will further increase pressure on natural resources such as clean water and usable land.
Two billion people live in countries with high water stress, and almost one billion people suffer from drinking water shortages. Over 2.6 billion people do not have access to adequate sanitation. Eighty per cent of the world’s wastewater is not treated and pollutes natural water resources. It is estimated that around 1.5 million children under five die every year as a result of lack of water hygiene, and this while global water demand will continue to rise – by up to 40 per cent by 2050. Water resources musttherefore be used more efficiently, pollution – including plastic debris in the oceans – must be minimised, andthe proportion of treated wastewater must be increased. In addition, the possibilities of water extraction, forexample through saline water treatment, must be improved and used on an industrial scale. An equally ambitious approach must be taken to protecting and conserving land resources. Climate change, land overuse, deforestation and soil sealing are causing more and more soils to become infertile. As much as 75 per cent of the world’s land area has already been degraded by erosion, salinisation, overexploitation or desiccation, and without active countermeasures, this could reach 90 per cent by 2050. In Germany, too, settlement and transport areas have more than doubled over the last 60 years. Every day, the natural environment of the Federal Republic of Germany loses an area of around 90 football pitches as a result. Through FONA, we want to make a contribution to counteracting this through sustainable agriculture and forestry concepts and intelligent urban planning.