More than two billion people depend on the world’s arid and semi-arid lands. Preventing land degradation and supporting sustainable development in drylands has major implications for food security, climate change and human settlement. This report, issued at the beginning of the United Nations Decade for Deserts and the Fight against Desertification, sets out a shared strategy by UN agencies to rise to the challenge of addressing the special needs of these vital zones. Our focus is twofold: tackling the underlying causes of land degradation, and strengthening the capacity of dryland populations to mitigate and adapt to environmental change, including climate change. Our approach is proactive: by striving for drylands development, we can reverse and prevent desertification and land degradation, reduce poverty and support environmental sustainability.
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