How desertification has turned into a monstrous challenge for Africa


Photo credit: Down to Earth

Gradual desertification in Africa is having a far-reaching impact on human health, food security and economic activity Credit: TREEAID / Flicker

Desertification in Africa: 10 things you must know


Those who live off the land cannot afford to see their future go dry. Desertification has triggered displacements across the world. Each year, millions of hectares of land are lost. According to the UN agencies, land degradation affects 1.5 billion people globally. Their reports reveal how desertification has turned into a monstrous challenge for Africa:

  • Dry lands cover 65 per cent of the continent. One-third of this area is hyper-arid deserts and completely uninhabited, except in oases. The remaining two-thirds of the dry lands, which comprise arid and semi-arid lands, are home to about 400 million Africans.
  • Africa also suffers from inherently low soil fertility as the bedrock consists of granites and gneiss. Most of the soils in Africa are characterised by a low proportion of clay, making them easy to work and also easy to lose.
  • Every year, Africa loses about 280 million tonnes of cereal crops from about 105 million hectares of croplands. This can be prevented if soil erosion is curbed.
  • Poverty-related agricultural practices are a major contributor to desertification. Continuous cultivation without adding supplements, overgrazing, lack of soil and water conservation structures, and indiscriminate bushfires aggravate the process of desertification.

Read the full article: Down to Earth

Communal Fruit Tree Plantations to Combat Desertification


Photo credit: Modern Ghana


Reversing Desertification Through Communal Fruit Tree Plantations In Upper West Region

by Coalition For Change Ghana
It is usual for remote dwellers in the northern parts of Ghana to cut trees for livelihoods. Some especially women do so for charcoal, firewood and lately timber logging. However, an initiative by the Coalition for Change (C4C) in collaboration with the Jacobs Well Appeal –UK (JWA-UK) is righting the wrongs on the environment.

Their target is to liaise with communities to plant and care for fruit trees to benefit the communities. From August to September this year, they have engaged a remote community east of Wa the capital of the Upper West region to pilot the planting of mangoes and moringa seedlings. A total of 330 seedlings of mango (220) and moringa (110) were planted with the people of Kpaliworgu.

The community was trained on trees/environmental protection and the proper way of planting and raising trees. The community provided the land, poles and manpower for the plantation whilst JWA through C4C provided the seedlings, fencing and trainings. The seedlings will be looked after by the community for the next two years until they mature. Once the trees start fruiting, the community can harvest to supplement their fruit intake as well as sell some for developmental projects.

Read the full article: Modern Ghana



LES PAYS SECS (2003).jpeg

Les pays secs (2003)

Posted by Prof. Dr. Willem VAN COTTHEM

Ghent University – Belgium

Having participated in all the meetings of the INCD (1992-1994) and all the meetings of the UNCCD-COP, the CST and the CRIC in 1994-2006, I had an opportunity to collect a lot of interesting books and publications on drought and desertification published in that period.

Book Nr. 38

Please click:

or see les-pays-secs-2003




Plants for Arid Lands (1985)

Posted by Prof. Dr. Willem VAN COTTHEM

Ghent University – Belgium

Having participated in all the meetings of the INCD (1992-1994) and all the meetings of the UNCCD-COP, the CST and the CRIC in 1994-2006, I had an opportunity to collect a lot of interesting books and publications on drought and desertification published in that period.

Book Nr. 37

Please click:

or see plants-for-arid-lands-1985

Global report analyses rural development and recommends policy changes to eradicate poverty.



Hed: Global report on rural development offers targeted policies to eliminate poverty

The world is changing rapidly, across urban and rural areas. Growing demand for food – driven by population increase and rising incomes – is creating opportunities and challenges for people working in rural areas, including in smallholder agriculture and in the non-farm economy.

Rising agricultural productivity, more jobs off the farm and migration to cities are reshaping rural life – but so too are adverse factors such as climate change, environmental degradation and other risks.

Small farms continue to provide livelihoods for up to 2.5 billion people and account for up to 80 per cent of food produced in Asia and sub-Saharan Africa. In a fast-changing world, rural areas must transform – and rapidly – in order to be sustainably included in growing economies and to contribute to overall prosperity.

On 14 September 2016, the International Fund for Agriculture Development (IFAD) launched its flagship publication Rural Development Report 2016: Fostering Inclusive Rural Transformation.

Read the full article: IFAD

Shrubs to combat desertification


Photo credit: Google

Shrublands – – Basin big sagebrush in a big basin

Shrubs more expansive than trees

September 26, 2016
University of Gothenburg
Shrubs are more widespread than trees in nature and on Earth. A new study explains their global success. It turns out that the multiple stems of shrubs are of key importance. This feature contributes to both better growth and better survival than in trees of similar size, according to the research team behind the study.

Read the full article: Science Daily

A climate resilience initiative for sustainable development


Photo credit: FAO

An FAO-supported climate-smart agriculture initiative in Tanzania.

UN Secretary General’s climate resilience initiative set to mobilize and accelerate climate action for sustainable development

Anticipate, Absorb, Reshape leadership group launched during UN general assembly

Partners of a new UN-led platform to mobilize and accelerate action on climate resilience agreed today to move ahead with plans that will help meet the needs of a growing global population that is being impacted by climate change.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s Initiative on Climate Resilience, known as A2R (Anticipate, Absorb, Reshape), was launched by world leaders during the Paris Climate Conference last year.

The A2R Leadership Group comprises Germany, Egypt, Morocco, Samoa, the World Bank, the Rockefeller Foundation’s Global Resilience Partnership; Bangladesh based philanthropic Bank BRAC, Insurance Development Forum (IDF), Red Cross and Red Crescent Climate Center, Yale Center for Environmental Law and Policy, the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR), Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and UN Environment. The Leadership Group is charged with implementing the transformational vision embedded in the Paris Agreement, the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction and the Sustainable Development Goals through an unprecedented global multistakeholder partnership.

It will catalyze climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction efforts to support people in addressing the challenge of climate change, contributing to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Read the full article: FAO