World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought

On June 17, we celebrate World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought.

Desertification is a process by which vegetation in drylands, such as grasslands or shrublands, decreases and eventually disappears. The concept does not solely refer to the physical expansion of existing deserts, but to the various processes that threaten to turn currently non-desert ecosystems into deserts.

Desertification and drought can cause the land to become unusable and can cause a decrease in biodiversity, as well as an increase in poverty and a decrease in food security.

Below, we explore some of the factors contributing to desertification and drought, and our tree-planting partner in Mauritania, ANAD, shows us how they deal with some of these matters.

1. Overgrazing is the major cause of desertification worldwide. Governments are encouraged to put in place policies that regulate and limit activities such as farming, livestock, and grazing, which can all contribute to desertification.

An area that ANAD planted and camped off, specifically preserved for animal grazing.


2. Over-cultivation of land also contributes to desertification, as shallow-rooted crops can cause the topsoil to erode, and prevent deeper-rooted plants from accessing the water and nutrients they need to survive.

Very dry areas of land where cultivation is very difficult or nearly impossible.


3. Deforestation can lead to desertification and drought, as trees and other vegetation help trap moisture in the soil and keep the air cooler. When trees are removed, the soil dries out and becomes vulnerable to erosion.

The photo illustrates how deeply-rooted shrubs and trees help to keep the moving sand in place.


4. Additionally, governments could invest in water management systems to reduce water stress and conserve water resources in dry regions.

In the city of Nouakchott, large pools of rainwater can be seen on the roads after heavy rains, which will quickly dissolve again under the scorching sun.


5. And lastly, governments could invest in research and development to increase the understanding of desertification and develop innovative solutions to address the problem.

In the city of Nouakchott, the government has planted hundreds of trees next to the main road leading to the airport.


Dah Ebbe, the president of ANAD, says that with an increase in desertification, there is the risk of losing beautiful areas and biodiversity, such as the fertile Senegal River valley, which lies South of Mauritania. See the images below.

While desertification is very hard to control for a single individual, Dah Ebbe has shown us that every person can contribute to preserving and protecting their environment. He has planted trees in his own gardens in Nouakchott and Bareina:

Dah Ebbe concerningly tells us that the desert is rapidly coming closer and closer to their homes. The desert is not just invading their villages, but it is also eating away their culture, their customs, traditions, and their heritage. He hopes that together, as local communities, the government, and with global support, their future will change for the better.

Children playing in the sand dunes, neighboring their homes in Bareina.

If you want to know more about ANAD and their work in the desert, have a look at their website. Or, you can get in touch with Dah Ebbe and ask him how you can get involved and support his work.

For more information on desertification, visit the articles below.:

Action Against Desertification
Causes, Effects and Solutions to Combat Desertification
Desertification: Causes, Effects, And Solutions
Desertification, explained
Desertification Is Destroying Mauritania | Opinion
World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought


Below, a few photos to illustrate life on the edge of the Sahara desert.



Please share this. Thank you!

1 Comment

  1. Dah ebbe ANAD

    Thank you, dear Anrich, for sharing this wonderful post with us We, ANAD, hope to have a field partnership with GTI. We work hand in hand to combat desertification on behalf of Mauritania, which suffers from encroaching sands. 75 percent of Mauritania’s land suffers from desertification.


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

More News

Reflections on Walk For The Trees 2023 – Part 2

Mark shares with us that, “Overall, Jill and I are thrilled about the outcomes and the way things went during the whole process”.

Developments from our Australian partner, Atisha Buddhist Centre

Mark tells us that they are applying for funding to create a “honey and native bee pollinator garden” around the Kadampa Stupa.

International Youth Day: Inspiration from Zimbabwe

On August 12, we celebrate International Youth Day! This brings about an excellent opportunity to hear from our Regional coordinator in Zimbabwe, Jussa Kudherezera, who is also the founder of Manica Youth Assembly (MAYA).

Mark Allaway’s birthday fundraiser

THANK YOU for celebrating your birthday with us, Mark Allaway!

Food Security and the way forward

This piece explains the current state of food security in Nigeria, the challenges it faces, and potential solutions to address this pressing issue.

Welcome to Burkina Faso, country number 66 to join our global community!

In June 2023, Burkina Faso became country number 66 to join our global tree-planting community! Burkina Faso is a West-African country, lying in the Sahel belt region.

Meet Raman Reikhi from Reikhi Farms, India

Raman is one of the active members of our community forum, and he has also planted many trees in the past. In this article, we want to tell our community more about Raman and his farm, Reikhi Farms.

Our community gardeners from around the world

Gardening can be quite a rewarding experience and it has proven benefits to one’s health (both physical and mental). Our global community has been dedicating some time to growing food and tending to small indoor gardens.

Children in Equatorial Guinea share their humble gardening activities

One of the heartfelt stories that reached us through this global challenge, comes from Equatorial Guinea, Africa. Sr. Manuela Benavides tells us about the activities that they carry out with the disabled children in Mikomiseng.

GTI India offers their collective success and efforts to the Dalai Lama!

Mrinalini Nigde, one of our dedicated coordinators in India, tells us about a wooden plaque that was offered to the Dalai Lama.

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Join our newsletter. Stay tuned to all our news. There is more to come.

You have Successfully Subscribed!