Did you know that June 17 is the World Day to Combat Droughts and Desertification? This year, the theme of the International Day Against Desertification, “Overcoming Droughts Together”, places special emphasis on early action to avoid disastrous consequences for humanity and the planetary ecosystems.
This is because forecasts estimate that by 2050 droughts will affect more than three-quarters of the world’s population. According to recent reports, the number and duration of droughts have increased by 29% since 2000, and today more than 2.3 billion people are affected by water scarcity.
But what is desertification? It is the degradation of land in arid, semi-arid and dry sub-humid areas and is mainly caused by human activity and climatic variations.
When the land degrades and ceases to be productive, natural spaces deteriorate and transform. Therefore, greenhouse gas emissions increase and biodiversity decreases.
It also leads to the reduction of wild spaces that buffer zoonoses, such as COVID-19, and protect us from extreme weather events, such as droughts, floods, and sand and dust storms.
The good news is that there are measures that can be taken to reduce desertification, some of them are:
Reforest and regenerate tree species.
Improve water management, by saving, reusing water, storing rainwater.
Generate tree barriers to protect against wind erosion, etc.
Protect the line of dunes in coastal areas.
Enable the development of shoots of native tree species through selective pruning.