We are wrong about desertification (Google / Agriit Institute)

Read at : Google Alert – desertification


How to combat desertification and the effects of climate change while feeding people

Rubanzayo Wa Mpiira

We live in a world where two thirds of its land is turning into a desert (most of this proportion has already turned into desert) and the world has to feed an increasing number of mouths that are growing towards 10 billion.

Fossil fuels – carbon, coal and gas – are by no means the only thing that is causing climate change and desertification. Desertification occurs only when we create too much bare ground. When rain falls on a bare ground, some of it keeps on the ground as flood while the remainder soaks into the soil. But because the ground is bare, water evaporates as fast as possible and the soil also releases carbon into the atmosphere.

We are told over and over repeatedly that desertification is occurring only in arid and semi-arid places of the world. We are also told that desertification is caused by livestock mostly cattle, sheep and goats overgrazing the plants, leaving the soil bare and giving out methane. Almost everybody knows this from the most illiterate persons to the Nobel laureates. Well, just like we were just as certain that the world was flat, we were wrong then and we are wrong now.


Posted in Agriculture, Desertification, food / food security

Desertification, a cause of global conflict (Google / TerrAfrica)

Read at : Google Alert – desertification


Desertification – The invisible Frontline


A new publication by the TerrAfrica Partner, UNCCD examines desertification as a cause of global conflict and instability and calls for urgent action to support communities in crisis. – See more at: http://www.terrafrica.org/desertification-the-invisible-frontline/#sthash.tDuDSa6b.dpuf
Desertification – The Invisible Frontline
Desertification: The Invisible Frontline

Desertification: The Invisible Frontline
Posted in Desertification

Desertification : Loss of biodiversity (Google / Climate Science and Policy)

Read at : Google Alert – desertification


Biodiversity at stake

The local extinctions of lizards in Mexico, the threat of shrinking areas of polar climates, the decline of Aloe tree populations in the Namib desert, the increasing frequency of extreme warming and drying events in tropical areas. Climate change is more complex than what is often portrayed in maps of gradual warming or gradual increases or decreases in precipitation.
Biodiversity faces very different climatic challenges across regions and the impacts of the changing climate are still extremely difficult to predict.
Posted in Climate / climate change, Desertification

Deserts, Drylands and Desertification (Google / SADC Water Sector)

Read at : Google Alert – desertification


5th International Conference on Deserts, Drylands & Desertification

Created by mmorrison

Event Date:

17 November 201420 November 2014

The Fifth International Conference on Deserts, Drylands & Desertification will take place in Sede Boqer Campus, Israel, on November 17th to 20th, 2014.

The conference, organised by The Economics of Land Degradation (ELD) Initiative, will focus on Healthy Lands – Healthy People and will consider natural and anthropogenic processes, and the interactions between drylands and people in and around them. Additional sessions will be held considering a broad range of topics associated with sustainable living in the drylands and means to address desertification, as well as achieving the target of zero net rate of land degradation.

 The uniting theme of the 2014 conference is “Healthy Lands – Healthy People” which, intends to encompass a variety of aspects relating to Drylands, Deserts and Desertification, including natural sciences, social sciences, planning and policy issues. Themes include water policy and hydrology in drylands.


Posted in Desertification

Restoring degraded lands would be a huge blessing (Google / DEVEX)

Read at : Google Alert – desertification


It’s time for a global landscape restoration revolution

By Monique Barbut, Andrew Steer

The solution to the very visible global problems of deforestation, desertification and food scarcity may be hiding in plain sight: the transformative ability to restore degraded land to productive use.

This is a resource opportunity of unprecedented magnitude. Two billion hectares— an area twice the size of Europe — of degraded land are ripe for landscape restoration. The expected rise in world population to 9 billion by 2050, and the need for a 70 percent increase in food production from 2006 levels, makes the need for a solution particularly urgent. This challenge will be even more difficult in the face of a changing climate.

Restoring these degraded lands would also be a huge blessing to millions of small farmers who depend on agriculture for their livelihoods — and it offers the additional benefit of mitigating climate change while helping farmers adapt to it. Restoring 150 million hectares would yield $84 billion in annualized net present value and would sequester approximately 1 gigaton of carbon dioxide equivalent annually.

What is required now is the political momentum to do so.











Posted in Desertification, land / land degradation

What desertification should mean ? (Land Ecology)

Read at :


Desertification? With a grain of salt

A steady stream of news articles announce: “Desertification affects (insert fraction) of (insert country)”. A photograph of a sand-engulfed house, dry riverbed, dead animal, or close-up of cracked earth accompanies the story. Environmental catastrophes make for interesting reading. But it is seldom clear what ecological phenomena the term “desertification” actually refers to, and therefore what the solution might be. And it’s the solution that matters.

Desertification is a poorly-defined catch-all for land degradation occurring in “drylands” featuring relatively arid climates. The imprecision produces assessments of desertification extent that range from 4-74% of global drylands1. Nonetheless, the term “desertification” has international standing via the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD). The UNCCD has been ratified by 195 countries plus the European Union—a remarkable level of acceptance for a vague ecological concept. For countries afflicted with desertification there are also direct benefits in the form of support for international development assistance1.

The specific definition used in the UNCCD bears the hallmark diffuseness of design by committee. It is the

“reduction or loss in arid, semi-arid, and dry sub-humid areas, of the biological or economic productivity and complexity of rain-fed cropland, irrigated cropland, or range, pasture, forest, and woodlands resulting from land uses or from a process or combination of processes, including processes arising from human activities and habitation patterns, such as: (i) soil erosion caused by wind and/or water; (ii) deterioration of the physical, chemical, and biological or economic properties of soil; and (iii) long-term loss of natural vegetation”.

Even among my close colleagues, we disagree about what desertification should mean.


Posted in Desertification

Desertification in Benin (Google / UNOHRLLS)

Read at : Google Alert – desertification


Building Productive Capacity

Posted in Desertification