Sign up for an account
About the Convention
History of the Convention
List of Parties
Global Biodiversity Outlook (GBO 3)
Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety
Nagoya Protocol on Access and Benefit-Sharing
Conference of the Parties (COP)
Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice (SBSTTA)
Working Group on the Review of Implementation (WGRI)
Intergovernmental Committee for the Nagoya Protocol (ICNP)
Working Group on Article 8(j)
Working Group on Protected Areas
Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020
Aichi Biodiversity Targets
United Nations Decade on Biodiversity 2011-2020
Mechanisms for Implementation
National Biodiversity Strategies & Action Plans
Financial Resources & Mechanism
LifeWeb for Financing Protected Areas
Clearing-House Mechanism (CHM)
Cooperation & Partnerships
Consortium of Scientific Partners
Japan Biodiversity Fund
The Cartagena Protocol
About the Protocol
Text of the Cartagena Protocol
Key Protocol Issues
Assessment and Review
Detection and Identification
Handling, Transport, Packaging and Identification
Liability and Redress
Monitoring and Reporting
Public Awareness and Participation
Roster of Experts
List of Parties
Becoming a Party
Status of Contributions
COP-MOP (Governing Body)
Activities and Documentation
Meetings and Documents
Reports of the Executive Secretary
The Biosafety Clearing-House
Frequently Asked Questions
Media and Outreach
A video on the Cartagena Protocol
Search the BIRC
Protocols and decisions
Fact Sheets and Banners
Biosafety Technical Series
Nagoya – Kuala Lumpur Supplementary Protocol on Liability and Redress
The Biosafety Clearing-House (BCH)
Dry and Sub-humid Land Biodiversity
Inland Waters Biodiversity
Marine and Coastal Biodiversity
Universities and the Scientific Community
Children & Youth
The Green Wave for Schools
Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs)
Biodiversity for Development
Climate Change and Biodiversity
Communication, Education and Public Awareness
Economics, Trade and Incentive Measures
Gender and Biodiversity
Global Strategy for Plant Conservation
Global Taxonomy Initiative
Health & Biodiversity
Identification, Monitoring, Indicators and Assessments
Invasive Alien Species
Liability and Redress - Article 14.2
Sustainable Use of Biodiversity
Technology Transfer and Cooperation
Tourism and Biodiversity
Traditional Knowledge, Innovations and Practices - Article 8(j)
New & Emerging Issues
News and Communications
News Headlines on Biodiversity
List of Parties
Lists of National Focal Points
National Biodiversity Strategies and Action Plans (NBSAPs)
Status of Contributions
Library and Documents
Principles, Guidelines and Tools
Resources for Negotiators
ECOLEX - A Gateway to Biodiversity-Related Law
Ecosystem Approach Sourcebook
Database on Climate Change Adaptation
Database on Incentive Measures
Database of Scientific Assessments
Database on Technology Transfer
Case Studies on Impact Assessment
Case Studies on Dry and Sub-Humid Land Biodiversity
ABS Measures Search Page
ABS Database on Capacity Building Projects
ABS Roster of Experts
About the Secretariat
Museum of Nature and Culture
Doing Business with the CBD
Communication, Education & Public Awareness
Background and Status
Aichi Biodiversity Target 1
Priority Activities (VIII/6)
National Action on CEPA
International Day for Biological Diversity
Projects from the Global Initiative
Meeting & Documents
The process of restoring degraded drylands can take many forms depending on the type of degradation observed.
Where vegetation loss causes dust storms and soil erosion, restoration often involves the reseeding of degraded land, the planting of green belts or the establishment of live fences, which simultaneously capture eroding soil and provide enclosures and fodder for livestock.
When poor land management causes a reduction in soil quality, restoration programmes often include a combination of increased fertilization especially with manure, the direct treatment of degraded soil using gypsum and other such products, and changes in cropping systems to allow for longer fallows.
When biodiversity has been degraded as a result of threats including habitat loss and competition from invasive alien species, restoration can be very complex. In such cases species reintroduction must be combined with actions to address threats such as the eradication of invasive alien species or the establishment of protected areas.
Restoring Degraded Drylands
A well-functioning dryland ecosystem supports a broad range of life. In fact, drylands plants and animals play a significant role in supporting livelihoods and reducing the vulnerabilities of drylands populations to hazards such as drought, flood, and famine.
44% of global agricultural production takes place in drylands.
In Ghana, Mali, Nigeria and Zambia, the first line of treatment for 60% of children with high fever resulting from malaria is the use of plant-based medicines at home
The genetic diversity of hardy African cattle, the vast majority of which are grazed in drylands, is higher than anywhere else in the world.
When dryland ecosystems become degraded, however, valuable biodiversity services are lost. As animal species are pushed from their habitat, drylands people lose an important source of protein and income. As native plants are over harvested or displaced by non-native species soil is exposed and is blown or washed away. Overall vulnerabilities increase as people and biodiversity alike are subjected to increasingly harsh conditions.
The recent drought in East Africa affected an estimated 15 million people and it is expected that northeastern Kenya will take 15 years to recover from the effects.
It is estimated that annual economic losses as a result of the degradation of drylands are US$ 42 billion.
15 known dryland species are already extinct or extinct in the wild.
Degraded drylands also present a number of ongoing threats. Bare soils can cause devastating dust storms with effects crossing international borders. In 2002, for example, a dust storm originating in China’s arid northern region affected more than 100 million people in China and caused the closing of schools and airports in South Korea. Chinese dust storms have even crossed the Pacific, leaving a layer of dust along the Rocky Mountains. In response to these threats China has initiated extensive restoration programmes to reseed degraded areas and create green belts. In fact, in response to concerns that dust storms originating in the arid north could disrupt the 2008 Beijing Olympics, the Government of China has dedicated US$6.8 billion for the restoration of degraded areas
More than 38% of China’s total land mass is classified as drylands.
More than half of China’s drylands are affected by degradation and desertification.
In April, 2001 NASA tracked a dust cloud across the Pacific. The dust cloud reached 2000 km in length.
In April, 2006 more than 300,000 tons of sand fell on Beijing.
The China Loess Plateau project funded by the World Bank (1993-2001) restored over 3,000 square km of degraded drylands and, as a result, more than halved the poverty rate in the project area.
Restoration in drylands can, however, be very complex, as few species have developed the adaptations required to thrive in water-scarce, drought prone areas. As such, restoration programmes in drylands often rely on local species. In India, for example, a number of GEF supported projects in Rajasthan emphasize the local preservation of native species of plants, including medicinal and sacred plants.
Approximately 130 million ha of drylands in India are degraded
The Government of India has treated 30 million ha of degraded drylands.
In the arid regions of Rajasthan accounts for 10% of India’s total land area but only 1% of India’s water resources.
Restoration efforts in Rajasthan center on native species of cultural and economic importance such as those found in ‘orans’ - sacred groves typically comprised of ‘khejadi’ trees (Prosopis cineraria), which have high value as suppliers of fodder, fuel, fruit, and the stabilization of sand dunes.
National Focal Points
Nationals Strategies (NBSAPs)
Cooperation & Partnerships
© CBD Secretariat
Rate this page