Satisfying the changing food habits and increased demand for food intensifies pressure on the world’s water, land and soil resources. However, agriculture bears great promise to alleviate these pressures and provide multiple opportunities to contribute to global goals. Sustainable agricultural practices lead to water saving, soil conservation, sustainable land management, conservation of natural resources, ecosystem and climate change benefits. Accomplishing this requires accurate information and a major change in how we manage these resources. It also requires complementing efforts from outside the natural resources management domain to maximize synergies and manage trade-offs.
The objective of SOLAW 2021 is to build awareness of the status of land and water resources, highlighting the risks, and informing on related opportunities and challenges, also underlining the essential contribution of appropriate policies, institutions and investments. Recent assessments, projections and scenarios from the international community show the continued and increasing depletion of land and water resources, loss of biodiversity, associated degradation and pollution, and scarcity in the primary natural resources. SOLAW 2021 highlights the major risks and trends related to land and water and presents means of resolving competition among users and generating multiple benefits for people and the environment. The DPSIR framework was followed in order to identify the Drivers, Pressures, Status, Impact and Responses. SOLAW 2021 provides an update of the knowledge base and presents a suite of responses and actions to inform decision-makers in the public, private, and civil sectors for a transformation from degradation and vulnerability toward sustainability and resilience.