News / 17 June 2009

June 17th: World Day to Combat Desertification

Today, June 17th, is the World Day to Combat Desertification. For this occasion, we have put together the following images illustrating the beauty, diversity and strength of drylands and their inhabitants. They come from different Drynet countries. Be inspired!



A large part of earth's surface is covered by semi-arid and arid ecosystems or "drylands": some 40%, in fact, and over two thirds of Africa. Most of the poorest people on earth, some 70% of the undernourished - over 600 million people - live in these areas.

Natural resources, cultivation and livestock-rearing remain centrally important to the economies and livelihoods of the majority of people who live in drylands. Healthy ecosystems, land and natural resources are therefore critical. However, some 70% of the world's drylands are affected by degradation.


However, it is not all doom and gloom. Particularly in these remote areas communities themselves have been looking for their own solutions to land degradation and drought. Local communities often rely on experience and intuition to react quickly to unexpected events thanks to their direct relation with the natural resources surrounding them. The ability of communities to cope is based partly on historical experience, and partly on survival instincts, knowledge and access to information. Many of these solutions are innovative and inspiring, and deserve more attention.


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