Desertification is the process that turns land that was once fertile into one that is sterile. When desertification takes place, it is difficult to grow crops, feed animals or gather food. As many as 900 million people in more than 100 countries suffer from the effects of desertification and drought.
Questions and answers
What causes desertification?
The two major causes of desertification are natural or human induced climatic variations and human mismanagement of fragile ecosystems (for example, overgrazing and deforestation). With climate change, there could be more droughts in the future In several parts of the world.
What is WMO doing to fight desertification?
WMO supports the collection, research and information exchange on desertification and drought. It also investigates the causes and effects of drought and climate change to provide early warnings of drought so that action can be taken to reduce its effects. WMO also coordinates the efforts of Members for drought preparedness, and teaches them how to stop desertification caused by droughts.