This day; June 17th was proclaimed “The World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought” by the United Nations General Assembly on January 30, 1995. Its purpose is to highlight and find preventative measures to combat desertification and ways to recover from a drought. Each year there is a different theme and this years its; “Land Belongs to the Future – Lets Climate Proof it”.
Here are a few facts about desertification:
- According to dictionary.cambridge.com this is “the process by which land changes into desert”. This normally occurs through; deforestation, drought or inappropriate farming.
- Roughly 8.9 billion acres (3.6 billions hectares) or 70% of all drylands across the Earth is affected. That is translated into one-fourth of the total land area on earth.
- over one billion people worldwide are affected by drought and desertification. That is about one-sixth of the worlds entire population.
- Some 10% to 20% of drylands are already degraded and ongoing desertification threatens the life of the poorest and the prospect of poverty reduction.
- Desertification destroys biological diversity. Bio-Diversity contributes to many of the services provided to humans by drylands ecosystems
- Fresh water scarcity which has already affected between 1-2 billion people globally, is expected to increase, causing greater stresses in drylands and worsen desertification.
- Desertification cost the world in excess of 40 billion dollars a year in lost productivity.
- Agriculture tends to suffer in the long run with the soil losing valuable nutrients that the plants need.
Here are a few things you can do to help with preventing desertification;
- Lets prevent overgrazing. Move the animals different locations so as to allow the grasses to regrow.
- Plant a tree (or two), removal of vegetation can contribute to soil erosion which can leading to flooding and nutrient lost in the soil. Soil can also become salty, once this happens, it becomes that more difficult for plants to grow.
..earth has been good to us. Lets return the favour. Lets heal the world