Desertification_

1. Desertification is a type of land degradation in which a relatively dry area of land becomes increasingly arid, typically losing its bodies of water as well as vegetation and wildlife. It is caused by a variety of factors, such as through climate change (particularly the current global warming), Deforestation and through the overexploitation of soil through human activity. Desertification is a significant global ecological and environmental problem.

2. Declines in productivity may be the result of climate change, deforestation, overgrazing, poverty, political instability, unsustainable irrigation practices, or combinations of these factors. The concept does not refer to the physical expansion of existing deserts but rather to the various processes that threaten all dryland ecosystems, including deserts as well as grasslands and scrublands.

3. Desertification takes place worldwide in drylands, and its effects are experienced locally, nationally, regionally, and globally. Drylands occupy 41% of Earth’s land area and are home to more than 2 billion people.

4. Persistent, substantial reduction in the provision of ecosystem services as a result of water scarcity, intensive use of services, and climate change is a much greater threat in drylands than in non-dryland systems.

5. The greatest vulnerability is ascribed to sub-Saharan and Central Asian drylands. For example, in three key regions of Africa—the Sahel, the Horn of Africa, and Southeast Africa—severe droughts occur on average once every 30 years. These droughts triple the number of people exposed to severe water scarcity at least once in every generation, leading to major food and health crises.

6. Desertification is a result of a long-term failure to balance demand for and supply of ecosystem services in drylands.

7. The pressure is increasing on dryland ecosystems for providing services such as food, forage, fuel, building materials, and water for humans and livestock, for irrigation, and for sanitation. This increase is attributed to a combination of human factors and climatic factors.

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