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IntroductionDesertification has been and is still considered to be a significant andone of the worlds leading global ecological and environmental problemDesertification describes the general environmental process of degradationthat begins usually with deforestation It occurs when the quality of soilhas become impoverished especially in dry lands and consequently the landis turned into desert Nicholson 2011 This process turns productiveland into non- productive desert as a result of poor land-managementoccurring through ruination of land by climatic variations and the combinedroles of human activities such as soil erosion UNCED 1992Desertification occurs mainly in semi-arid areas where the average annualrainfall received is equal or less than 600 mm and borders desertssource Geist H 2005 About 2500 BC the Sahara climate changedAfrica where the Sahara lies was once a fertile plain capable of harvestingfoods but it slowly dried up As the Sahara land became parched the desertproportionally spread The area at risk to desertification is approximatelyone third of the worlds land surface in arid or semi-arid land It isestimated that it is likely to increase due to global warming which ispredicted to increase the desert climate area by 17 in the next centurysource Nicholson 2011 Desertification mostly takes place in drylandsall over the world where the populations are often marginalized making themeven more vulnerableDesertification devours thousands of acres of land each year As the regiondried the people were forced to retreat Lack of water and scarce foodmade the land inhabitable hence people migrated to the south For examplein the Sahel which lies in the semi-arid area that is south of the SaharaDesert between 1950 and 1975 the desert moved 100 km southwardsNicholson 2011 It is estimated that desertification affectsapproximately 135-250 million people worldwide who rely on the benefits dryland ecosystems provide Terminski 2012 The size of deserts has beenrapidly expanding in response to human activities and naturally occurringchanges in climatic conditions and is set to affect more and more peopleAbout 10 to 20
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