Desertification: the invisible frontline

Desertification: The Invisible Frontline, which was published by the UNCCD, emphasizes that, as the climate changes, so is the face of the earth, and with devastating effects on the lives of those who depend on the land. This publication examines desertification as a cause of global conflict and instability. It includes numerous key figures and facts, including that more than 1.5 billion people depend on degrading land, and 74 percent of them are poor. It indicates that many of the intrastate conflicts taking place today are linked to the control and allocation of natural resources by states, and suggests that increasing water scarcity and hunger, especially among poor people, opens the door to the failure of fragile States and regional conflicts. The publication suggests that drought impacts are most visible in human losses and on agricultural production, but have higher knock-on effects on other economic sectors. Possible actions to address these challenges include setting up national and regional drought policies and encouraging voluntary co-contributory insurance schemes and risk transfer mechanisms designed for communities in drought-prone areas.