Each year on June 17th, the World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought emphasises desertification prevention strategies. It’s also a day to think about how to emerge again from droughts. Desertification is the conversion of productive land to the wasteland. This is frequently caused by droughts, deforestation, or inefficient cultivation. Desertification decreases ecological integrity. This is especially harmful in places already plagued by poverty and starvation.
Well over 2 billion acres of valuable land have been degraded in recent years. The good news is that there are other proven methods for preventing desertification. Among these methods are:
● Protect the soil from deterioration through land and water management.
● Maintain natural vegetation.
● Combine land use for grazing and cultivation to enable better nutrient management.
● Use conventional agricultural practices in conjunction with land-use technologies.
● Provide families and communities with the resources they need to manage dryland.
● Provide economic prospects in urban drylands.
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Aside from these methods of preventing desertification, there are several methods of reversing soil degradation. This involves tree planting, adding nutrients to the soil, minimising soil degradation, and building seed banks. Combating desertification and drought is important now more than ever. This is due to the fact that by 2050, there must be adequate fertile land to support the needs of 10 billion people.
Environmental activists and conservationists deliver seminars to the public on solutions to prevent desertification and drought on this day. To take part:
● Learn how to protect the land on your property.
● At least one tree should be planted on your land.
● Learn about the advantages of seed banks.
● Explore movies and read articles on desertification and its effects on the environment.
Some of the causes of desertification
Animal grazing seems to be a major issue in many locations that are transitioning to desert landmasses. Because there are too many animals grazing in some areas, it makes it more difficult for plants to recover, which harms the ecosystem and causes it to regain its original green beauty.
Whenever people search to move to a place, or when they really need trees to build houses and accomplish other jobs, they are adding to desertification concerns. The majority of the ecosystem cannot flourish without plants (particularly trees).
Some farmers are unsure about how to best utilise their land. They may effectively deprive the area of everything before moving to another section of land. Land degradation becomes a greater possibility in farming communities as minerals are depleted from the soil.
Excessive use of Fertilisers and Pesticides:
Excessive use of fertilisers and pesticides to boost agricultural production in the near term frequently results in substantial soil degradation. In the long term, this may transition from fertile to deserts, and it will no longer be suited for agricultural purposes after a few years of excessive farming because the soil has been destroyed quite so much.
Overdraft of Groundwater:
Groundwater is water discovered underground which is one of the world’s greatest sources of water. Overdrafting would be the process of extracting groundwater in excess of the aquifer’s optimum yield or the excessive extraction of groundwater from surface water or groundwater. Desertification results from its reduction.
Here are some of the ways to prevent desertification:
● For droughts, reduce your personal carbon footprint and volunteer for regeneration and natural environment preservation.
● For erosion, Outside of designated routes, do not stroll or ride a bike, let alone drive a car, in the countryside.
● Stock Breeders, farmers, and landscapers should avoid activities that result in soil erosion.
● For wildfires, follow the rules for clearing waste and burning stubble.
● Refuse to drive a motor vehicle off-road. Make no bonfires, barbecues, or leave garbage in nature.
● For groundwater overexploitation, purchase seasonal and local products, which demand less water usage in total. In many regions, aquifers serve as a backup plan for household water supply in the occurrence of drought.
Desertification is a massive issue that must be handled immediately, and if we take some time to do that now, we can avoid further issues down the road. By taking a strategic look at desertification, we get the tools we need to effectively navigate the procedures. And it should start from today itself.
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