Member states to the United Nations convention on desertification are meeting in Cancun to discuss what can be done to stop soil degradation. One possibility is crops bred to withstand drought.
Vast tracts of Africa and of China are turning into dust bowls on a scale that dwarfs the one that devastated the US in the 1930s, one of the world’s pre-eminent environmental thinkers has warned.
Desertification is a growing problem in many parts of the world, mostly owing to common human activities such as agriculture, animal husbandry (grazing), and groundwater use. It’s a common topic of discussion in some fields of scientific research (and elsewhere) how best to address this issue.
Some termite species erect massive mounds that look like great temples springing up from the world's savannas and drylands.
CHINA is holding back the desert, for now. The Great Green Wall – a massive belt of trees being planted across China's arid north in what might be the largest ecological engineering project on the planet – seems to work, according to a new study.
In the world's driest rainfed wheat region, researchers have identified summer fallow management practices that can make all the difference for farmers, water and soil conservation, and air quality.
Volatile rainstorms drive complex landscape changes in deserts, particularly in dryland channels, which are shaped by flash flooding.
COLOMBO, Sep 29 2014 (IPS) - The last time there was mud on his village roads was about a year ago, says Murugesu Mohanabavan, a farmer from the village of Karachchi, situated about 300 km north of Sri Lanka’s capital, Colombo.
(Reuters) - A severe drought has ravaged crops in Central America and as many as 2.81 million people are struggling to feed themselves, the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) said on Friday, though the region's coffee crop has been largely unscathed.
SANGAREDDY, India, Aug 25 2014 (IPS) - Tugging at the root of a thorny shrub known as ‘juliflora’, which now dots the village of Chirmiyala in the Medak District of southern India’s Telangana state, a 28-year-old farmer named Ailamma Arutta tells IPS, “This is a curse that destroyed my land.”
The head of Water for People says the trickle down approach to water isn’t working and it’s time to turn up the pressure
A lake has miraculously appeared in a desert region in southern Tunisia. Scientists are at a loss to explain how the water got there, and, as journalist Naveena Kottoor explains, they're warning locals to keep away.
DUBAI, Aug 3 (Reuters) - As a child, Mohammad Rahmanpour spent his summers swimming in Lake Orumieh in northwestern Iran - then the largest in the Middle East. In less than two decades, the saltwater lake has almost disappeared, leaving behind a hole in the ground.
In front of Osman Bin Affan Mosque, in a central but narrow street of Beirut, several tank trucks are being filled with large amounts of water. The mosque has its own well, which allows it to pump water directly from the aquifers that cross the Lebanese underground. Once filled, the trucks will ...
Prolonged dry spells push pastoralists to the brink of starvation as food prices soar and cattle raids spiral out of control
In central China's Henan province, the drought is one of the most severe in history seen in the province.
Twenty African nations have banded together to build a monumental Great Green Wall of Africa - a forest of drought-resistant trees stretching across the edge of the Sahara Desert.
NOAA scientists have developed a new high-resolution climate model that shows southwestern Australia's long-term decline in fall and winter rainfall is caused by increases in manmade greenhouse gas emissions and ozone depletion, according to research published today in Nature Geoscience.
The office of the Special Assistant to the President on School Agricultural Programme and the Federal Ministry of Environment have pledged to work together to curb threats posed by desertification in the country.
We all know that some climate change is natural, in fact, even without humans, the Earth’s climate changes. But, as we have added heat-trapping gases to the atmosphere, we have seen human influence “emerge” from natural variability.
The director general of the Acção para o Desenvolvimento Rural e Ambiente (ADRA), Belarmino Jelembi, said Monday in Luanda that a severe desrtification threatens the quality of biodiversity.
North Korea's rivers, streams and reservoirs are running dry in a prolonged drought, state media said on Monday, prompting the isolated country to mobilise some of its million-strong army to try to protect precious crops
On the south-western coast of the world's driest inhabited continent sits a green, vibrant city that is defying a chronic lack of rain and warming temperatures.
About a quarter of India's land is turning to desert and degradation of agricultural areas is becoming a severe problem, the environment minister said, potentially threatening food security in the world's second most populous country.
“We are at a critical juncture now where governments, businesses and communities need to gear up to combat the growing incidence of lands changing into deserts and near desert-like conditions,” says Habiba Al Marashi, Chairperson, Emirates Environmental Group (EEG).
Nairobi — Since the Horn of Africa drought of 2011 aid agencies have been working to understand the changes taking place in the drylands, hoping to better anticipate people's needs.
NEW YORK, Dec. 3 (UPI) -- U.S. and British wildlife experts say the world's largest tropical desert, the African Sahara, has suffered a catastrophic collapse of its wildlife populations.
Nov. 5, 2013 — The vast sagebrush landscapes of the western United States are one of the largest ecosystems in North America.
Oct. 30, 2013 — An increase in aridity due to global warming will disturb the balance of nutrients in the soil and reduce productivity of the world's drylands, which support
Government accused of playing down the crisis, which has affected 1.8 million people, to protect its economic reputation
DESERTIFICATION, along with climate change and the loss of biodiversity were identified as the greatest challenges to sustainable development during the 1992 Rio Earth Summit.
Better management of degraded lands could deliver up to US$1.4 trillion a year in increased crop production, says a report presented at the UN Convention to Combat Desertification conference in Windhoek, Namibia, last month (24 September).
The eleventh session of the Conference of the Parties to the UN Convention to Combat Desertification (COP11) ended last Saturday with several major breakthroughs.
Windhoek — The Chinese government has shown interest in assisting Namibia in dealing with land degradation and desertification issues Minister of Environment and Tourism, Uahekua Herunga, who is also the COP11 president, revealed yesterday.
The United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has pledged that the United Nations system stands ready to continue supporting Namibia’s efforts to mitigate the effects of the current drought and to build resilience.
Windhoek - Desertification ranks among the greatest environmental challenges facing humankind, with global implications for bio-diversity, eco-safety, poverty-eradication, socio-economic stability and sustainable development.
KEY instruments such as the National Action Programmes (NAPs) tasked with implementing the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification are too slow to address land degradation and the effects it has on communities.
THE Minister of Environment and Tourism, Uahekua Herunga, said land degradation is a significant threat to our developmental efforts and it is a threat we are committed to address.
NAIROBI, Sep 15 2013 (IPS) - For decades Zakayo Ekeno has walked Turkana County’s arid land, herding his livestock, and his father’s before that. Yet nothing about the persistently drought-stricken land in northern Kenya could have given him an indication of the wealth beneath it.
Two vast underground aquifers seen by satellite technology in Turkana county may provide much-needed water for barren area
Namibia will host a major international conference in September to discuss land degradation and desertification.
Planting trees in coastal deserts could capture carbon dioxide, reduce harsh desert temperatures, boost rainfall, revitalise soils and produce cheap biofuels, say scientists.
Desert-dwelling tribes have long survived on little more than dates and water. But now, the desert’s barren land can nourish much more than that - strawberries and tomatoes are also cropping up in some places.
Africa is among the most drought-affected regions of the world, with some parts of the continent experiencing as many as nine prolonged dry spells in the three decades between 1974 and 2004.
It may take development of the deserts to save forests, say experts, who stress that desert ecology needs to be preserved and enhanced.
When representatives of 194 States and the European Union, which are parties to one of the landmark global conventions, meet in the Namibian capital Windhoek from September 16 to 27, they will focus on intensifying efforts for ushering in a world free of poverty generating DLLD – desertification ...
RIACHÃO DO JACUIPE, Brazil, Jul 4 2013 (IPS) - The first surprise on arriving at Abel Manto’s farm is how green it is, in contrast with the dry brown surroundings. His beans and fruit trees seem oblivious to the persistent drought in the semi-arid hinterland of northeast Brazil, the worst in 50 ...
NEW YORK, June 17 (UPI) -- United Nations officials say global action is needed to improve responses to the threat of drought around the world.
A marvel of nature, the lakes of Ounianga in the Sahara Desert have lasted thousands of years and withstood dramatic climate change. Now, a German geologist has analyzed lakebed sediments to shed light on a spectacular chapter in human history.
BILMA, Niger, May 15 2013 (IPS) - The Bilma community has mined the salt pans in the massive Ténéré desert region in northern Niger for centuries. But the threat of the ever-encroaching desert has become a real concern as locals here struggle to cope with a decline in salt prices