Desertification is the degradation of land in arid, semi-arid and dry sub-humid areas. It is caused primarily by human activities and climatic variations. Desertification does not refer to the expansion of existing deserts. It occurs because dryland ecosystems, which cover over one third of the world‘s land area, are extremely vulnerable to overexploitation and inappropriate land use. Poverty, political instability, deforestation, overgrazing and bad irrigation practices can all undermine the productivity of the land.
This day should remind everyone of land’s important role in producing food and generating local employment, as well as its ability to add to the sustainability, stability and security of desertification-affected places.
The theme for World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought 2018 has not yet been released.