FAQs about Desertification

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9. What is the relationship between deforestation, desertification, and water scarcity?

Deforestation of forests means cutting down millions of trees annually. Over time it can lead to desertification and water scarcity due to decreased humidity, cloud formation, and rainfall.

During the deforestation process, the forest area is destroyed to benefit the commercialization of the wood and / or the obtaining of large tracts of land for intensive agriculture and livestock farming. It is also deforested for the expansion of urbanization, the construction of highways, the laying of gas and oil pipelines and infrastructure works used by engineering, mining, and hydrocarbon extraction.

Desertification is “the degradation of dry, semi-arid and sub-humid lands resulting from various factors, such as climatic variations and human activities”, as defined by the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification. This is related to deforestation and water scarcity.

Water shortage refers to the lack of water resources to satisfy the demand for water consumption in a region. It is linked to deforestation and desertification due to its consequence, which is the decrease in humidity. “The problem of water shortage affects around 2.8 billion people on all continents of the world for at least one month each year. More than 1.3 billion people do not have access to safe drinking water”, according to Wikipedia.

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