Read at : Google Alert – desertification
Desertification threatening MONGOLIA
Desertification has already become a global environmental issue and is one of the major challenges that countries will face in the 21st century. The United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) defined the term “desertification” as “land degradation in arid, semi-arid and dry sub-humid areas resulting from various factors, including climatic variations and human activities.” According to a study conducted under the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), land degradation, which is defined as the reduction or loss of the biological or economic productivity of drylands, affects one third of the Earth’s surface and more than one billion people. Mongolia has recently been included in the list of the countries that seriously suffer from land degradation. A serious and widespread desertification in Mongolia is caused by climatic factors as well as human activities. Ninety percent of Mongolian territory can be regarded as vulnerable to desertification. These areas are almost exclusively used as rangelands, home to about 30 million heads of livestock and many more species.
Therefore, proper policies and management have to be taken into effect in order to protect rangelands from desertification and properly cope with the consequences of desertification. Mongolia has an extreme continental climate with long, cold winters and short summers. Precipitation is highest in the north and lowest in the south. Some regions of Gobi sometimes receive no precipitation at all.