In 1994, the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) declared June 17th a global observance of desertification, shedding light onto the persistent dehydration of dry land ecosystems.
Desertification is the process in which fertile land becomes desert due to prolonged drought, deforestation or inappropriate agriculture. Desertification actively threatens the most vulnerable populations. In Africa, desertification is prevalent, causing an unsustainable use of local, scarce resources.
Mismanaged land can lead to a myriad of unfortunate outcomes. Improperly managing land can cause the soil to become infertile, decreasing the opportunity to grow food, which leads to food scarcity.
The UN suggests ways to prevent desertification. Reforestation, tree regeneration, and water management are among the best ways to prevent further land degradation. The UN also recommends soil enrichment by hyper-fertilizing soil through planting.
Communities are encouraged to come together to combat desertification. To learn more, visit the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) website.
By Kimberly Dallmann, GMC Writer