Extractions: UNDP DRYLANDS WEB SUPPORTING LONG-TERM DEVELOPMENT IN THE DRYLANDS The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) is committed to achieving the United Nations Millennium Development Goal of halving world poverty by 2015 and other key development goals. In fighting world poverty UNDP works to bring the concerns of disadvantaged groups to the centre of the development agenda. Drylands issues are complex, however solutions can be developed if affected populations are leading the process. This requires political commitment to end marginalization of key stakeholders and to ensure equitable political, economic, social and civil rights, as well as access to basic social services and assets for securing livelihoods. UNDP has established a new Drylands Development Centre to lead its efforts in supporting long-term development in the drylands of the world. The new Centre based in Nairobi provides assistance to countries in the form of policy advice, technical support and institutional capacity development, advocacy, information and knowledge management support for integrating drylands issues into macro economic and national development planning frameworks. The overall programme of support of the Centre is grouped into three thematic areas: (i) integrating drylands development issues into central development policy; (ii) reducing vulnerability to climactic shocks and improving adaptation to climate change; and (iii) Improving local governance for natural resources management. (
FAO Desertification Web Site FAO website on the topic, with technical and scientific data and information available at FAO, plus internet links. Site available in Arabic, English, French and Spanish languages. http://www.fao.org/desertification
United Nations Convention To Combat Desertification Provides access to the official documents maintained or received by the UNCCD Secretariat and is a Category Science Environment Global Change desertificationimage Sand storm, China, Drought and desertification threaten the livelihood ofover 1 billion people in more than 110 countries around the world. Kofi Annan, http://www.unccd.int/
Desertification Information Network Network focusing on desertification in Africa and the Mediterranean Basin contains news and details of research organizations and projects. CEO desertification INFORMATION NETWORK. Pilot project for Africa and the Mediterranean Basin http://www.wcmc.org.uk/dynamic/desert
Land Use -- Land Degradation And Desertification Report from the Consortium for International Earth Science Information Network details the causes and costs of desertification. At the United Nations Conference on desertification (UNCOD), desertification was defined as a "diminution or destruction http://www.ciesin.org/TG/LU/degrad.html
Extractions: CIESIN Thematic Guides *DRAFT* Land degradation has been defined as a reduction in the soil's capacity to produce in terms of quantity, quality, goods, and services. Several other concepts are important to this definition: Landscapes throughout the world undergo transformation processes that include some form of natural degradation, but these processes are usually compensated for and counterbalanced by nature's inherent recovery ability. Net degradation occurs whenever the degradation processes significantly exceed nature's restorative capacity. Blaikie and Brookfield (1987) present a comprehensive introduction to and definition of the nature of land degradation in Land Degradation and Society . They describe degradation as a natural process that can be enhanced or dampened by human intervention. Chisholm and Dumsday (1987) also discuss society's role in degrading land in Land Degradation Desertification is generally viewed as an advanced stage of land degradation. At the United Nations Conference on Desertification (
Extractions: Did you know? More than 70% of earth's dryland is affected by desertification About 3,6 billion of the world's 5.2 billion hectares of useful dryland for agriculture has suffered erosion and soil degradation. In more than 100 countries, 1 billion of the 6 billion world population is affected by desertification, forcing people to leave their farms for jobs in the cities. Desertification takes place in dryland areas where the earth is especially fragile, where rainfall is nil and the climate harsh. The result is the destruction of topsoil followed by loss of the land's ability to sustain crops, livestock or human activity. The economic impact is horrendous, with a loss of more than $40 billion per year in agricultural goods and an increase in agricultural prices. Climatic changes can trigger the desertification process, but human activities frequently are the proximate cause. Overcultivation exhausts the soil. Deforestation removes trees that hold the soil to the land. Overgrazing of livestock strips the land of grasses. According to a UN study, about 30% of earth's land - including the 70% of dryland - is affected by drought. Every day, about 33,000 people starve to death.
IMPACTS - Desertification Detailed report supported by Greenpeace that examines the potential implications of global climate change for the Mediterranean region. http://www.greenpeace.org/~climate/science/reports/desertification.html
Extractions: climate science Climate Change and the Mediterranean Region Executive Summary Water shortages and poor harvests during the droughts of the early 1990s exposed the acute vulnerability of the Mediterranean region to climatic extremes. Against this backdrop, the prospect of a major climate change brought about by human activities is a source of growing concern, raising serious questions over the sustainability of the region. This report examines the potential implications of global climate change for the Mediterranean region. Drawing on the results of recent studies, it reviews possible changes in climate together with recent trends, the potential impacts of climate change and the implications for sustainable development. One key finding is that future climate change could critically undermine efforts for sustainable development in the Mediterranean region. In particular, climate change may add to existing problems of desertification, water scarcity and food production, while also introducing new threats to human health, ecosystems and national economies of countries. The most serious impacts are likely to be felt in North African and eastern Mediterranean countries. The report concludes that while there is some scope for adaptation, ensuring the long-term sustainability of the region requires urgent action to cut global emissions of greenhouse gases.
Welcome To SEPADO - SOMALIA A voluntary Nongovernmental Organization,formed during the summer of 1996 to combat environmental problems of the war-torn Somalia. http://members.tripod.com/~sepado/
Extractions: Due to the lack of central government in Somalia during the last 6 years is causing the environment of Somalia to suffer greatly as a result of human destruction. The environmental condition of Somalia is catastrophic and deteriorating day after day. Following are major threats facing the environment in Somalia:
Extractions: Last Updated: 2/3/00 Land covers 14.9 billion hectares of the earth's surface. A UNEP (United Nations Environmental Programme) study shows that 6.1 billion hectares are dryland of which 1 billion hectares are naturally hyperarid desert. The rest of the dryland has either become desert or is being threatened by desertification. One quarter of the world's population inhabit the drylands and depend on this area for their livelihood. The misconception that the Sahel is directly exposed to the Sahara has been widely accepted. The Sahara is sometimes pictured as a sea of sand dunes washing onto the Sahel exposing farmers to waves of sand that roll in from the desert, yearly swallowing large chunks of farming land. If true it would be understandable that projects plant green belts in order to defend the Sahel from the invasion. In reality the situation is much more complex. In some places such as parts of North Africa and Mauritania the Sahara directly threatens farming land. However in Niger the pastoral zone to the north of Tanout (the town 13km N. of Eden's field station) is well vegetated with many bushes and trees. It is in fact a natural green belt that protects farmers from the Sahara. This zone is species rich and many perennials growing there produce food in abundance. Several species grow larger there despite the lower rainfall than in the agricultural zone. The fauna includes gazelles and desert partridges. The vegetation protects the environment so little wind or water erosion occurs. A UNEP publication confirms that the natural green belt extends across the Sahel. It exists because it is closer to the desert than the agricultural zone and therefore too dry for sustainable millet production. Careless use, however, could easily destroy this zone.
Internet Resources For The Convention To Combat Desertification Information about intergovernmental organizations, national/regional activities,nongovernmental organiza Category Science Environment Global Change desertificationSELECTED INTERNET RESOURCES ON desertification. Convention to Combatdesertification Secretariat; Global Environment Facility (GEF); http://www.iisd.ca/linkages/desert/desertsites.html
Extractions: SELECTED INTERNET RESOURCES ON DESERTIFICATION INTERGOVERNMENTAL ORGANIZATIONS NATIONAL/REGIONAL ACTIVITIES NON-GOVERNMENTAL ORGANIZATIONS REPORTS/NEWS/INFORMATION SOURCES CBD Clearing House Mechanism CEO-Desertification Information Network CIESIN Bibliography on Political Institutions and Environmental Change Earth Action Report on UNCCD: Dispelling Misconceptions, Building a Case (1998) ... UNEP and GRID-Arendal News
IALC Internet links to sites related to desertification, maintained by University of Arizona.Category Science Environment Global Change desertificationRelated Sites. desertification and Drought. UN Convention to Combat desertificationand related sites. desertification drought research institutions. http://ag.arizona.edu/OALS/IALC/links/desert.html
ALN No. 40: Web Resources On Desertification Links to web sites providing information on desertification worldwide.Category Science Environment Global Change desertificationAnnotated list of web resources on desertification, published in Arid LandsNewsletter No. 40, fall/winter 1996. Web resources on desertification. http://ag.arizona.edu/OALS/ALN/aln40/WebResources.html
Extractions: The CCD, Part I: Africa and the Mediterranean Web resources on desertification Compiled and annotated by Katherine Waser "The successful implementation of the Convention would make a significant contribution to solving some of our most pressing problems, including food security, water conservation, drought emergency management, poverty reduction, and migration." Mr. Hama Arba Diallo Executive Secretary, Interim Secretariat for the CCD speaking at the FAO World Food Summit , November 1996. [Ed. note: links last checked March 2000] This list covers World Wide Web resources on: The list is not intended to be exhaustive; rather, the focus is on sites that house original content and/or data, directory sites with so many good links they simply must be included, and sites that struck me as being particularly in line with the aims and provisions of the CCD. [Please note also that I have added "Further Web Resources" links to the end of an individual article, in those cases where the link in question seemed more applicable to that particular article than to this overall list.]
United Nations Convention To Combat Desertification Secretariat of the United Nations Convention to Combat desertification Sand storm, China "Drought and desertification threaten the livelihood of over 1 billion people in more than 110 countries around the world." http://www.unccd.ch/
Extractions: Beijing's Desert Storm The desert is sweeping into China's valleys, choking rivers and consuming precious farm land. Beijing has responded with massive tree-planting campaigns, but the Great Green Walls may not be able to buffer the sand, which could cover the capital in a few years By Ron Gluckman /Beijing, Fengning and Langtougou, China F ROM HIS ROOFTOP, Su Rongxi maintains an unsteady balance, perched between the past and a precarious future. One foot is planted firmly upon his tiled roof. The other sinks ankle-deep into a huge sand dune that threatens to engulf his house and Langtougou village, where his ancestors have lived for generations. For this dirt-poor town in Hebei province, the sands of time aren't just a quaint notion, they are close at hand, burning the eyes and lungs. And for Langtougou, the sands seem to be ticking out. "We have no money to move and, besides, who would have us?" says Su. "There's nothing to do but dig away the sand and wait to see what happens. Sometimes I dream of the sand falling around me faster than I can dig away. The sand chokes me. I worry that in real life, the sand will win." Su and his neighbors are ethnic Manchurians who survive by cultivating subsistence crops and raising horses, goats and pigs. But this year violent sandstorms dumped entire dunes into the once-fertile Fengning county valley. Now most of the grass is gone and the Chaobai River stands dry. Besieged villagers say they have no idea where the sand came from. The scary bit? Su's almost-buried house is nowhere near the heart of China's rapidly encroaching deserts. It is just 160 km north of Beijing. Suddenly, rural Langtougou has become a barren outpost on the front line of a national battlefield.
ACTS Homepage An international intergovernmental policy research and training organization located in Nairobi, Kenya. The Centre's activities focus on the implementation of Agenda 21 and related conventions on biological diversity, climate change and desertification. http://www.acts.or.ke/
Extractions: The African Centre for Technology Studies (ACTS) is an international inter-governmental policy research and training organization located in Nairobi, Kenya. The Centre's activities focus on the implementation of Agenda 21 and related conventions on biological diversity, climate change and desertification. Ecological Sources of African Conflicts Biotechnology Policy Water Resources Management Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property (TRIPs) ... Internship
Web Page Redirect Caltech laboratory monitors aridland degradation using satellite remote sensing. Learn about the project through text and video overviews. Remote monitoring of arid land degradation (desertification) is of vital imporance for today's society. http://www.planetary.caltech.edu/~arid
Desertification This degradation of formerly productive land desertificationis a complex process. desertificationdoes not occur in linear, easily mappable patterns. http://pubs.usgs.gov/gip/deserts/desertification/
Extractions: The Sahelian drought that began in 1968 was responsible for the deaths of between 100,000 and 250,000 people, the disruption of millions of lives, and the collapse of the agricultural bases of five countries (photograph by Daniel Stiles, UNEP). The world's great deserts were formed by natural processes interacting over long intervals of time. During most of these times, deserts have grown and shrunk independent of human activities. Paleodeserts, large sand seas now inactive because they are stabilized by vegetation, extend well beyond the present margins of core deserts, such as the Sahara. In some regions, deserts are separated sharply from surrounding, less arid areas by mountains and other contrasting landforms that reflect basic structural differences in the regional geology. In other areas, desert fringes form a gradual transition from a dry to a more humid environment, making it more difficult to define the desert border. These transition zones have very fragile, delicately balanced ecosystems. Desert fringes often are a mosaic of microclimates. Small hollows support vegetation that picks up heat from the hot winds and protects the land from the prevailing winds. After rainfall the vegetated areas are distinctly cooler than the surroundings. In these marginal areas, human activity may stress the ecosystem beyond its tolerance limit, resulting in degradation of the land. By pounding the soil with their hooves, livestock compact the substrate, increase the proportion of fine material, and reduce the percolation rate of the soil, thus encouraging erosion by wind and water. Grazing and the collection of firewood reduces or eliminates plants that help to bind the soil.