Unanimous commitment to restore 12 million hectares of degraded land globally every year

The president of Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, has many flaws in the eyes of Turkish environmental NGOs, but even they might have to admit that he has a good environmental speechwriter. “Humanity needs a new relationship with nature,” he told the UN Convention to Combat Desertification, in Ankara last month. “We are living like foreigners on our own planet. Our consciences, as well as our land, have become degraded.”

Desertification and land degradation, he added, are “the prime reasons people are leaving their homelands”. He went on to castigate the developed countries for failing to support refugees and migrants from ruined land.