Warning message

The subscription service is currently unavailable. Please try again later.

Water and land degradation a "slumbering giant"

Compelling discussion, commentary, stories on agriculture within thriving ecosystems.

Andrew Noble addressing the Crawford Fund Parliamentary Conference in Canberra, Australia


Reversing water and land degradation is one of the main challenges faced in meeting future global food demand.  Andrew Noble asserts that water and land degradation are under-recognized factors in the future of livelihoods and water and food security.  In the past, humans have had the option to move to new land if degradation prevents productivity.   Soon, however, we will not have the luxury of cultivating new land, as humans are quickly running out of new areas to move into.  The slumbering giant, as Dr. Noble coins this issue, may awaken soon if we do not work to reverse and prevent degradation of these precious resources.

For more information, see the Conference Proceedings or visit the IWMI Website.

Part 2 of the interview is now available: Andrew Noble discusses what small holder farmers can do to combat water and land degradation.

About the Interviewee:

Andrew Noble is a Senior Fellow at the International Water Management Institute.


In our resource-rich country of Myanmar we have tremendous potential of land and water resources for food production for our country as well as for our Asian region and world community.But we need proper exploitation of the resources for sustainable development of our future generations.
Article of Mr Andrew Noble whom I met him frequently in world seminars may help us in some way not to degrade our water and land for developments.
We need assistance from world community like IWMI for food and crop production by proper utilising of land and water resources.
I expect reply commen from Mr Andrew Noble soon.

AYE Myint
Senior WAter Resources Engineer
National Engineering and Planning Services Co.Ltd

Thanks for your comments and for highlighting the challenges that Myanmar faces with the sustainable development of its water and land resources.

The challenges of land and water degradation are significant and will if we do not pay attention to it, compromise the ability of our food systems to meet future demand. It will also be critical for Myanmar as it enters a phase of significant growth in which its agricultural sector will be important in both meeting national food demand, but more importantly, its role in meeting future global food demand. As I am sure you can appreciate there is significant potential to move the country towards becoming a net exporter of grains (i.e. rice). The sustainable management of land and water resources will be important if we are not to repeat the mistakes we have made in the past. IWMI will be contacting you separately to discuss further possible engagement.

I agree with most statements made here. The ability to understand Water and land degradation a “slumbering giant” in this market will show your strength in the future. Interesting, clear and precise. I appreciate you sharing this with the rest of us Water.