Desertification affects all continents and affects the livelihoods of millions of people, particularly the poorest in arid areas.
According to the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD), desertification is “the degradation of land in arid, semi-arid and dry subhumid areas as a result of various factors, including climatic variations and human activities.”
Land degradation is defined as the reduction or disappearance of the biological or economic productivity of land.
Clearly, desertification is a natural phenomenon which refers to the transformation of an area into desert.
Desertification affects no less than a sixth of the world's population. It affects all continents but the extent of the damage is more perceptible in the countries of the South. Recently, desertification phenomena have also been observed in the northern Mediterranean and in Central Asia.
The causes of desertification are multiple, multifaceted and almost all attributable to humans. This desertification has a disastrous impact on the environment, society and the economy, threatening biodiversity and endangering populations who depend on dryland ecosystems. The fight against desertification is a very difficult task. Indeed, each case of desertification presents unique characteristics and must be treated in a specific manner. There is therefore not a single solution applicable everywhere, but depending on the case, different techniques for fighting this scourge which are among the challenges of contemporary societies.