What is desertification and what solutions can we offer to stop it?


“Desertification” – the process of fertile land transforming into desert- is an alarming consequence of climate change that threatens biodiversity, natural resources and the livelihoods of populations that inhabit drylands. It is caused by a variety of factors including the loss of vegetation, drought, deforestation and the overuse of intensive non-sustainable agricultural practices.

Desertification concerns millions of people. Drylands occupy some 40–41% of Earth’s surface area and are home to more than 2 billion people. It has been estimated that some 10–20% of drylands are already degraded. Yet the upside to all this is that desertification is a reversible process.


So what are some viable solutions to restore these degraded parched lands?

Because vegetation loss is the primary cause of desertification, as plants play a major part in retaining water and enriching the soil, reforestation programs are among the most effective solutions. There is a lot of educational work to be done with local populations on the dangers of deforestation and how to curb it. Environmental organisations, social businesses and environmental funds like Livelihoods can often provide concrete solutions to deforestation.


Read the full article here at Danone Down to Earth to discover how Livelihoods’ reforestation and rural energy projects are combatting deforestation: http://downtoearth.danone.com/2014/03/04/how-do-we-revers…

Photo © JF Hellio & Nicolas Gauduchon