Scientists estimate that 12 million hectares are lost every year due to desertification, that is, the tendency to settle desert conditions in an area due to certain actions taken by human beings. This degradation or loss of land affects 52% of the land destined for agricultural work, which directly damages 1.5 billion people living as farmers.
But, indirectly, desertification affects all human beings, as it is expected that in 25 years the price of food will increase by 30%, given that there will be less production.
To curb this trend, from 1951 to 1962 UNESCO carried out a global program of studies on arid areas, which has continued with the "Man and the Biosphere" program and the international hydrological program. In 1994, the international community recognized that desertification is one of the biggest global environmental problems that threaten the planet and its inhabitants. The United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD), which today has ratified 194 countries, was adopted.
Prevent and correct desertification
Basically the prevention and correction of desertification is based on:
• Fight against deforestation: installation of firewalls in wooded areas, fight stubble burning, rotate land use on land destined to feed livestock, prohibit the planting of species that impoverish soils (as do, for example, eucalyptus trees; instead pine trees are planted that enrich the mineral content of the soil).
• Erosion control on cultivated land: The best way to avoid the impoverishment of arable land is to give each one a use compatible with their characteristics (something known as "land management"), planting plant species with greater coverage and encouraging crop rotation to be able to achieve a prosperous and sustainable production or harvest
• Recovery of eroded areas / braking of erosive processes on farmland: through the construction of dikes in the gullies, the retreat of ravines is stopped, repopulation with trees on the edge of the crops whose roots anchor the land in front of surface runoff, construction of terraces on slopes to avoid the dragging of land through the waters of rain, plowing following contour lines
• Wind erosion control: installation of wind barriers of plant or artificial type and by increasing the floor covering; dune setting if they affect communication routes, human settlements or fields; planting forests that fix the soil and hinder air currents
• Erosion control caused by public works: adapt the works to the morphology and topography of the landscape, ditches; adequate spillways or drains; repopulation of slopes with fast-growing trees and construction of retaining walls in places with landslide.
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