About 300 representatives of Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) from over 100 dealing with sustainable development of drylands will meet in Montpellier, France from June 10 -13 this year, to exchange ideas and build a strong voice to communicate the need to fight land degradation and combat desertification.
CSOs and their national and international networks in these processes. The forum dubbed Desertif’actions (desertifi cation actions) calls for civil society organisations across the world to take action to halt desertifi - cation and land degradation so as to raise the quality of lives of dryland populations.
It has been jointly organised by CARI, the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertifi cation and the European Union. “Civil society organizations, scientists,local government, farmer organizations, private and public institutions… will meet in Montpellier in order to share their concerns and built common positions on desertifi cation and land degradation under a changing climate and its consequences in northern and southern countries,” says a statement issued by the organizers.
According to the statement, desertifi -cation is not simply the spreading of the desert but a process of degradation of the soils caused by climatic and human induced factors. “In different regions and under different climates, desertifi cation affects more than 100 countries including 13 in Europe. More than one billion people are directly harmed by desertifi cation worldwide and about 40 percent of the surface of land is affected by desertifi cation while 44 percent of the cultivated systems are impacted,” adds the statement.
The consequences of desertifi cation are worldwide. They include loss of soil fertility, reduction of animal and vegetal biodiversity and degradation of soils. It also decreases agricultural production and exacerbates the negative impacts of the climate.
As a result livelihoods of dryland communities deteriorate further, limiting their development and increasing forced migrations. It also induces locally and on long distance social instability, thus compounding worldwide insecurity.