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Desertification

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Desertification and How we can Prevent it

What Is Desertification?

Desertification is a process in which more of our land is becoming desert. It is not becoming a major problem because the land is hot and dry, but it is becoming a problem because the soil is useless for growing crops. Desertification is most likely to occur in areas where rainfall is scarce. (Desertification Fact Sheet, 2001)

Steps Being Taken to Prevent Desertification

There are many steps being taken to end desertification. First, different villages in Africa are setting up small groups called Naam which are fighting poverty and desertification. These people are planting trees and trying new farming methods. Other workers in the Sahel have made an important discovery. They found out certain types of rocks could be used as fertilizer to help vegetation grow. In addition, many women in the Sahel have setup a program called C.A.R.E., which is a tree project. People know trees are very important because if used properly they can be a great source of fuel. Today, people in the Sahel region are doing many things to help prevent desertification. (Government, Population and Ecology in the Sahel: A Study in Disaster, 1994)

Steps that Should be Taken to Prevent Desertification

Scientists and the people living in the Sahel region have different needs. The people living in the Sahel think their standard of living is most important, and the scientists think the environment is very important. The people and the scientists should meet and make an agreement on something that gives them what they both want. (Government, Population and Ecology in the Sahel: A Study in Disaster, 1994) Another step that could be taken is individual farmers could plant perennials in addition to crops to prevent erosion. Many farmers are depending on projects to help plant, but there is just too much land for the projects to cover. (Desertification-a Threat to the Sahel, 2000)

Legislative Action to Prevent Desertification

People started to first realize the problem in Sahel when there was a long drought during the 1970’s. In 1977 people met at the U.N. to discuss the problem of desertification. They came out with a Plan of Action to Combat Desertification which was a written document. The plan was not put into affect immediately though, because of both lack of financial and government support. In 1992, the U.N. met again and this time they developed the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification. This document started being used in 1996. Affected developed nations need to donate to affected but not developed nations like Africa. This plan will help nations in need of money develop a plan to stop desertification. (Prospects and Problems, 2004)

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(http://portal.unesco.org/)

Desertification