Farmers and other inhabitants of dryland areas are increasingly getting affected by poverty and food shortages due to deforestation, soil erosion, loss of soil fertility and biodiversity, and climate changes. These have been the direct effects of the policies, practices being practiced over the years, leading to both depletion and increased abuse of natural resources.

Over 250 million people are directly affected by desertification, and about one billion people in over one hundred countries are at risk. These people include many of the world‘s poorest and the most marginalized communities. (UNCCD). According to the fourth World Water Development Report (WWDR4) drylands and deserts make up over 41% of the Earth and are highly vulnerable to desertification and water shortages.

Efforts are being made by government agencies, NGOs, research and academic institutions, farmers in various parts of the country to address the issue, most often with community support. NGOs have been promoting desertification control by actively organising the local communities in activities ranging from watershed development, soil and water conservation, tree growing etc. How did they go about arresting the decline and changing the scenario? What has been the impact of their efforts? Very often these efforts have been carried out in remote locations too!

At the global level too, the International  Convention on Desertification is supported by 193 countries and the European Union. The Convention has come out with a 10-year Strategic Plan wherein the Parties have laid out a clear vision to reverse and prevent desertification and land degradation. Many affected countries have started the process of aligning their national action programmes to this strategy.

For the December 2012 issue of the LEISA INDIA, we invite articles which deal with a wide diversity of subjects related to combating desertification such as: participatory formulation of national action plans, strengthening of local institutions, participatory learning, monitoring and evaluation, successful approaches and actions to combat desertification and effective strategies for up-scaling. Articles on successful actions could deal with : micro-watershed management, land use planning, water and soil conservation, greening the drylands, livestock and rangeland management, crop diversification, development of integrated systems, indigenous knowledge and farmer or research innovations.


Please send your articles for the December issue of LEISA India to before 31st October, 2012.


(This post was based on received email from shobha, LEISA INDIA for dissemination purpose.)

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