The United Nations has said climate change and poor management practices were major threats to the world’s farmlands and food security. A major report released by the UN on Wednesday said deforestation and loss of wetlands, mangroves and grasslands for large-scale agriculture were degrading life-giving soils which humanity needs to feed and clothe itself.

The report said such large-scale damage to the environment was making the land more vulnerable to risks from more extreme weather which in turn was fuelling more severe temperature and rainfall changes.

The far-reaching study by more than 100 authors from 52 countries across the world was finalized on Wednesday in Geneva, Switzerland after nearly a week of negotiations between scientists and policymakers from 195 countries.

The authors critically examined thousands of studies over about three years in order to enable them better assess the links between climate change, food security, land degradation and desertification.

The report is also seen as a vital guide for governments as climate change risks grow in a world where the population is heading to 10 billion people by mid-century, threatening to place even greater strain on the planet’s limited resources.