UN Launches Decade-Long Efforts to Tackle Desertification
The United Nations has launched the Decade for Deserts and the Fight against Desertification (2010-2020), an 11-year long effort to raise awareness and action to improve the protection and management of the world’s drylands, home to a third of the world’s population and which face serious economic and environmental threats.
On a global scale, desertification - land degradation in drylands - affects 3.6 billion hectares, which accounts for 25 percent of the Earth’s terrestrial land mass. It threatens the livelihoods of more than 1 billion people in some 100 countries. Against this backdrop, member states of the United Nations addressed growing desertification and land degradation by adopting a resolution to dedicate the next decade to combating desertification and improving the protection and management of the world’s drylands in 2007.
The global launch took place August 16th 2010 in Fortaleza, Brazil, in the State of Ceara, Brazil’s semi-arid Region, during the Second International Conference: Climate, Sustainability and Development in Semi-arid Regions.
While concerns about desertification are growing, it is not all doom and gloom. Efforts have been made to address land degradation and while there have been positive outcomes, more action is needed to arrest and reverse land degradation and creeping desertification worldwide.