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The conventional wisdom on the causes of widespread desertification is false.

And the great Sahelian droughts of the s, s and s did not happen because of over-exploitation of land but because global climate changes brought about by fluctuations in the composition of atmospheric greenhouse gases and particulates. Though there are still year-to-year variations, there has been at least partial recovery of the rains since the mid s. In fact, the Sahel is now a great deal wetter, and for the very same reasons that caused the droughts.

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Skip to main content. Is desertification a meaningless concept?


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enter site The End of Desertification? The concept of desertification, it can be argued, has ceased to be analytically useful and distorts our understanding of social-environmental systems and their resiliency, particularly in poor countries with variable rainfall and persistent poverty.

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Om boka The question in the title of this book draws attention to the shortcomings of a concept that has become a political tool of global importance even as the scientific basis for its use grows weaker. For better policy and governance, we need to reconsider the scientific justification for international attempts to combat desertification.