World news – Desertification affects 250 million people
The Convention to Combat Desertification took advantage of the COP held in early September in India to reiterate the urgency of combating desertification. Echoing the IPCC report on land use and food security, it recalls that one third of the world’s land is currently undergoing desertification due to human intervention and climate change. As a result of deforestation, the overuse of chemical fertilizers and unsustainable farming, desertification could lead to the migration of between 50 and 700 million rural dwellers by 2050, the first victims being the poorest.
While Africa is on the top of the desertification list, just over one third of the United States, a quarter of Latin America and a fifth of Spain are also threatened.
India, which is taking over the presidency of the Convention for two years, is particularly affected by the phenomenon: one third of its land is in arid or semi-arid zones, and almost the same amount is undergoing desertification. In particular, it must tackle overuse of chemicals and overpumping of groundwater, directly linked to the recurrent droughts that now affect India.