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The transformation of arable or habitable land to desert, as by a change in
climate or destructive land use.
Soil erosion
River pollution
Depletion of underground water
Invasion of grassland by inedible shrub
Human Actions
Inappropriate numbers or types of animals
Trampling of soils
Reduction of vegetative cover
gathering Fuelwood
Slash and burn farming
Economic incentives overriding agricultural knowledge
Subsistence farming (slash and burn)
Inappropriate irrigation
of water resources Dessication
Salinization of farmland
Estimates of percentage of human actions causing desertification are:
overgrazing (35%), deforestation (30%), other agricultural activities
(28%), overexploitation activities (1%) (Cullet). bioindustrial of fuel wood
(7%), and Human impacts can exacerbate but not initiate desertification.

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Desert lands are inhospitable, sometimes uninhabitable. 2/3 of arable
land in Africa at risk. Loss of arable land means increased poverty, famine.
Food insecurity leads to more environmental refugees and displaced
persons, more forced migrations.
Poor harvest ­ niger + vast crop failure due lack of moisture to hydrate, wind blows
top soil ­ erosion. Increased soil salinity. Decreased fertility
Dried up rivers ­ lack of available water.
Malnutrition ­ surface run off washes away soil nutrients, no crops to grow, no food.…read more

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Magic stones ­ contours
Aswan dam ­ maintains water to concentrate in an area for irrigation.
Drought resistant seeds ­ millet & GM crop ­ reliable food source
Planting trees ­ discourage soil erosion & veg. To feed cattle and livestock.
Deeper wells ­ however aquifers not sustainable
Environmental lack of time/money/ knowledge.…read more


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