FAQs about Rio Summit 1992

7. What is the “Convention to Combat Desertification”?

Desertification is the degradation of land in arid, semi-arid and dry sub humid areas. It is caused primarily by human activity and climatic variations.

A new integrated approach to desertification was supported at the Rio-92 Summit, which entered into force on December 26, 1996. The document is a detailed instrument covering most aspects related to desertification and drought.

Despite this, in the almost three decades, not only has progress not been made in the field, but it has retroceded as a result of several factors. The main causes of desertification are global warming, climate change, global overpopulation and forest deforestation, which results in drought.

“Desertification is a global problem that directly threatens more than 250 million people and a third of the earth’s surface. Of these, about one billion people, in more than one hundred countries, depend on the land for most of their needs and who are usually the poorest people on the planet.”

“Although desertification affects the African continent to a greater extent, two thirds of which are deserts or drylands, the problem is not limited to the drylands of that continent. More than 30% of the lands in the United States are affected by land degradation. A quarter of the soils in Latin America and the Caribbean are deserts and drylands. In Spain, one fifth of the land is in danger of becoming in desert. In China, since the 1950s sandstorms and desert growth have destroyed nearly 700,000 hectares of cultivated land, including grasslands, forests, and shrublands. On the planet about 70% of land used in agriculture is degraded and threatened by desertification.

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