Skip to main content
Climate and Atmosphere
Land and Agriculture

Definition(s)

1) The development of desert conditions as a result of human activity or climatic changes. 2) The process of land damage which allows the soil to spread like a desert in arid and semi-arid regions. There is a loss of vegetative cover and the soil deteriorates in texture, nutrient content and fertility. Desertification affects the lives of three-quarters of the world's population, 70% of all drylands and one quarter of the total land area of the planet. There are many reasons for desertification, but the majority are caused by human activities, overgrazing, deforestation, poor land management and over-exploitation. Agenda 21 states that the priority in combating desertification should be establishing preventive measures for lands that are not yet, or are only slightly, degraded. (Source: GEMET -LBC / WRIGHT) /n
Degradation of land in arid, semi-arid and dry sub-humid areas, resulting from various factors, including climatic variations and human activities (Source: InforMEA/UNCCD).

Hierarchy

Broader: land
Related terms:
dune

In other languages

French
désertification
Russian
опустынивание
Spanish
desertificación
Chinese, Simplified
沙漠化
Arabic
تصحُّر

Explore content

Follow up the links below to see InforMEA content related to desertification coming up from several external sources.

Multilateral environment agreements tagged with desertification

You can see below a list of multilateral environment agreements. Use the links on the right to view the content tagged with desertification. This includes official treaty texts, decisions, recommendations, and other related informational documents such as publications, annuals, meetings, documents or reports.
Basel Convention
Convention on Migratory Species
Stockholm Convention
United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change
United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification
Carpathian Convention
United Nations Environment Assembly

Multimedia

The UNCCD Process