Photo credit: WVC – DSC00032-WVC copy.jpg
TC-Dialogue’s Reforestation project in Abaga, Xilin Gol, Inner Mongolia, 2005-05
How Desertification Works
by Dave Roos
The first step is to replace destructive agricultural techniques at the grassroots level. Poor farming communities in developing countries need to be taught the long-term benefits of crop rotation, the use of legumes and other cover crops to “fix” nitrogen back into the soil, sustainable irrigation methods, and techniques like terracing, which prevent water runoff and erosion in hilly, sloping landscapes.
Planting millions of trees in strategic locations could do wonders for halting the expansion of current deserts and preventing the creation of new ones. The Chinese government is currently planting a nearly 3,000-mile-long (4,828-kilometer-long) belt of trees along the edge of the Gobi desert to put the brakes on dust storms and prevent dune migration. A similar “green wall” is being considered along the frontier of the Sahara…
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