“Over the last half century,” UNEP notes, “the combined effects of population growth, land degradation (deforestation, continuous cropping and overgrazing), reduced and erratic rainfall, lack of coherent environmental policies and misplaced development priorities, have contributed to transform a large proportion of the …
What caused the Sahel?
Originally it was believed that the drought in the Sahel primarily was caused by humans over-using natural resources in the region through overgrazing, deforestation and poor land management. In the late 1990s, climate model studies suggested that large scale climate changes were also triggers for the drought.
How did the Sahel crisis start?
The Sahel region of West Africa was in the grips of a drought, food and refugee crisis caused by a combination of erratic rainfall, failed harvests, soaring market prices and insecurity. Vulnerable people in Niger, Burkina Faso, Mali, Chad, Mauritania, Senegal, and The Gambia were at risk of severe hunger.
Why is the Sahel becoming a desert?
But since the late 1960s, the Sahel has endured an extensive and severe drought. Desertification occurs when land surfaces are transformed by human activities, including overgrazing, deforestation, surface land mining, and poor irrigation techniques, during a natural time of drought.
What are three causes of desertification?
Various Causes of Desertification
- Overgrazing. …
- Deforestation. …
- Farming Practices. …
- Excessive Use of Fertilizers and Pesticides. …
- Overdrafting of groundwater. …
- Urbanization and Other Types of Land Development. …
- Climate Change. …
- Stripping the Land of Resources.
When did the Sahel conflict start?
Fighting in the vast semi-arid region began in 2012, when Islamist militants joined a local insurgency in northern Mali, capturing swathes of territory.
What is the most common economic activity in the Sahel?
In the Sahel region agriculture is the main economic activity, with about 80- 90% of the population actively engaged in agriculture.
Why is the Sahel so unstable?
The environmental crisis
Historically the Sahel has been characterized by strong climatic variations and irregular rainfalls, which pose two of the biggest obstacles to food security and poverty reduction in the region, according to the UN Environment Programme (UNEP).
Is the Sahel turning into a desert?
Desertification is the process of land turning into desert as the quality of the soil declines over time. … The Sahel is a narrow belt of land which lies immediately to the south of the Sahara Desert and which extends across most of Africa.
What are the causes desertification?
Human activities that contribute to desertification include the expansion and intensive use of agricultural lands, poor irrigation practices, deforestation, and overgrazing. These unsustainable land uses place enormous pressure on the land by altering its soil chemistry and hydrology.
Why is Antarctica called a desert?
Antarctica is the coldest, windiest, and most isolated continent on Earth, and is considered a desert because its annual precipitation can be less than 51 mm in the interior. It’s covered by a permanent ice sheet that contains 90% of the Earth’s fresh water.
What is the main cause of deforestation in Africa?
The conversion of forest land to agriculture, both subsistence and commercial, is by far the most common and most destructive cause of deforestation in Africa and other tropical regions.
What are the main causes of desertification in Africa?
Poverty-related agricultural practices are a major contributor to desertification. Continuous cultivation without adding supplements, overgrazing, lack of soil and water conservation structures, and indiscriminate bushfires aggravate the process of desertification.
What type of erosion causes desertification?
Wind erosion leads to land desertification. Wind erosion is undermining the soil by moving it from one place to another. It’s a ‘natural process’ where wind power blows loose particles, soil, sediments, stones, debris, and more from one location to another.