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Lessons from World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought
July 2, 2017
The challenge of desertification, already big, is becoming even more significant as a growing global population places increasing pressure on productive land. If we have any chance of delivering more nutritious food to people in the Global South we need to recover degraded land and enhance the health and fertility of our soils.
In the dry areas, where ICARDA works, this challenge is likely to be more difficult – these marginal environments are on the frontline in the fight against desertification and are predicted to be worst affected by climate change.
In fact, rising temperatures and increasing water scarcity and salinization are already a major constraint to agricultural production, threatening to consign many rural communities to chronic poverty and food insecurity.
Today, on World Day to Combat Desertification , we present important lessons from some of our recent initiatives that promote sustainable development across the dry areas and fight the effects of desertification.
We reflect on the progress of ICARDA’s new decentralized genebank architecture. A response to conflict in Syria, this approach is now strengthening the conservation of plant genetic material and enhancing the development of improved climate-resilient crops.
In Jordan, to cope with water scarcity, we have developed practical mechanized water harvesting techniques that support the revegetation of degraded rangeland ecosystems.