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In search of new ways to fight desertification

By Patricia Golan

Nearly 47 percent of the earth’s land area is drylands, and this percentage is growing due to poor farming practices, deforestation, changes in weather patterns and climate change. How can the world’s leaders and scientists deal with the planet’s looming, terrifying environmental crises?

The concept of “zero net land degradation” – restoring as much land as has been impoverished – is an approach that was discussed by international experts at the fourth biannual International Conference on Drylands, Deserts and Desertification (DDD), held at the Sde Boker campus of Ben-Gurion University of the Negev in November.

The concept was introduced and approved last June at the major United Nations global climate summit, the Rio+20 Conference on Sustainable Development, in Brazil.

The UN Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD), one of the Israeli conference’s sponsors, has…

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