SDG 2: End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture
«[…] Agriculture, forestry and fisheries can provide nutritious food for all and generate decent incomes, while supporting people-centred rural development and protecting the environment. Right now, our soils, freshwater, oceans, forests and biodiversity are being rapidly degraded. […] In Switzerland, the natural resource that agricultural areas represent is particularly under pressure and must be preserved through the sustainable use of resources.»
Significance of the indicator
The indicator shows the surface area of arable land, i.e. arable land and artificial grassland where crop rotation is used. Agricultural areas are a limited and non-renewable natural resource enabling the fulfilment of one of the most important basic needs: food. To move in the direction of sustainable development, these areas must be maintained.
“Arable land” is a common indicator in agricultural statistics at international level (Eurostat, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations - FAO). Depending on the country, these are areas on which crops are actually grown or could potentially be grown.
The indicator shows the total surface area of arable land in hectares (thousands). Data come from the Federal Statistical Office's land use statistics.
The land use statistics are conducted every twelve years (nine years for the current survey that began at the end of 2013). These statistics provide figures on land cover and use, making it possible to assess the extent to which our environment is changing due to human activity and natural processes. The survey is realised by sampling aerial photographs taken by the Federal Office of Topography (swisstopo). In total, 4.1 million equidistant points of 100 metres are processed.
2a Meeting needs
The basic needs of all individuals must be met over the long term. Individuals should be allowed reasonable leeway to meet material and non-material needs which extend beyond the basic needs.
15a Preservation of natural resources
The natural foundations of life should be maintained in the long term and existing damage should be repaired.
16b Limits for consumption of non-renewable resources
Non-renewable resources should only be used in amounts that can be replaced by renewable resources.
20 Decent natural and agricultural landscapes
Development of the natural habitat of humans must be guided by the concept of human rights. Human dignity requires a decent natural and agricultural landscape to which all people should have equal access.