Pub. date: 2008 | Online Pub. Date: April 25, 2008 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412963893 | Print ISBN: 9781412958783 | Online ISBN: 9781412963893| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
IN THE UNITED Nation's Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD), desertification is defined as “land degradation in arid, semiarid and dry sub-humid areas resulting from various factors, including climatic variations and human activities.” This land degradation is defined as a: reduction or loss in arid, semiarid and dry sub-humid areas, of the biological or economic productivity and complexity of rain-fed cropland, irrigated cropland, or range, pasture, forest and woodlands resulting from land uses or from a process or combination of processes including processes arising from human activities and habitation patterns, such as soil erosion caused by wind and/or water, deterioration of the physical, chemical and biological or economic properties of soil, and long-term loss of natural vegetation. In a more complex understanding, desertification also involves land-use change in pastoral and agricultural dryland systems, due to environmental pressures. Many assessments have been conducted on desertification, each as varied as the indicators that ...