Action Against Desertification

Desertification and land degradation

Desertification and land degradation are very serious challenges. They lead to hunger and poverty, drive unemployment, forced migration and conflict, while increasing the risk of extreme weather related to climate change.

But recent achievements in restoration and sustainable land management show that these problems are not insurmountable. Bold action and investments are needed to boost food security, improve livelihoods and help people adapt to a changing climate.

The restoration needs and opportunities are huge. Over 10 million hectares around the Sahara must be restored every year to achieve land degradation neutrality by 2030.

Action Against Desertification’s successful approach has paved the way for large-scale restoration in support of small-scale farming. Now, it is being expanded in Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific. It will have to be replicated on a massive scale to meet increasing demand for land restoration.

Key facts and figures

  • Land degradation affects almost 2 billion hectares of land worldwide, home to 1.5 billion people.
  • Every year, 24 billion tons of fertile soils are lost due to erosion.
  • 12 million hectares of land are degraded each year – this is 23 hectares per minute!