Desert and Dryness Essay Sample

Desert and Dryness Essay Sample



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            United Nations Environmental Programme was formed in 1972 and mandated with the role of identifying and analyzing global environmental problems. Additionally, the body has the role of assisting third world countries in implementing environmentally sound policies and practices. The body has its headquarters in Nairobi Kenya. UNEP aims at conserving the environment in a series of ways.

Deserts are associated with dryness, seasonal high temperature, very low rainfall, and a high evaporation rate. A desert is mostly found in areas with high pressure.  Rainfall and temperature in deserts are influenced by climate changes(World Commission on Protected Areas, 2011). For instance, interrelated ocean-atmosphere systems make deserts drier hence reducing the diversity of their ecosystems.  Desertification is caused by several reasons;

Overgrazing is a leading cause of desertification. Presence of too many animals in one area exposes the given environment to desertification. These animals eat all the vegetation in that area leaving the ground bare exposing it to soil erosion through strong winds and water. Additionally, as a result of overgrazing, vegetation is not given time to grow due to the continuous presence of the animals. When strong winds blow, soils particles and especially the topsoil is carried away leaving the land bare and unproductive. Running water also acts as an agent of soil erosion (Bhaker & Parwal, 2016). When the fertile soil is carried away, the land can no longer support the growth of any plant and eventually it becomes a desert.

Cutting down of trees or simply deforestation cause desertification. Trees are cleared for different reasons. For instance, they are cut for commercial use such as timber and firewood. They are also cleared to create land for settlement due to the increasing number of people in a given region. Cutting of trees causes the concentration of carbon dioxide in the air which is harmful to both human and animal life. Trees also hold the soil firm thus preventing it from being carried away by either water or strong winds(Bennett, 2017). However, whenever they are cut, the soil is left exposed to agents of erosion. Additionally, trees attract rainfall through completion of the water cycle which means whenever they are cut down, little or no rainfall is experienced leading to desertification.

Poor farming methods contribute to the spread of desertification. Some farmers lack basic knowledge of the importance of crop rotation (World Information Transfer, 2019). When the soil is completely drained of significant nutrients, it does not support the growth of plants. The land is, therefore, left bare exposing it to agents of soil erosion.

Urbanization leads to clearance of important plantations such as forests. Trees are cut down to create room for the construction of modern buildings. The soils are left bare and the buildings constructed cannot hold the soil firm and complete the water cycle leading to rainfall (Wang, et al., 2018). Additionally, some of the wastes released from the industries carry toxic materials harmful to plant life. The toxic wastes end up eliminating the remaining plantations hence leading to desertification.

Natural disasters also contribute to the spread of desertification. Long periods of sunshine make plants to dry up exposing the land to desertification. Additionally, floods sweep away all the plants in the lands leaving it bare for desertification to set in(UNEP, 2010). As a result of such disasters, human beings are left with little or no ability to reclaim the land already encroached by the desert.

Desertification has substantial effects on both the environment and the people. As a result of desertification, farming proves futile. The land is bare and there lacks adequate rainfall to support the growth of plants(World Commission on Protected Areas, 2011). People and animals are therefore exposed to hunger and starvation which can lead to loss of lives. Communities which depend on farming as their main economic activity are subjected to abject poverty as a result of lack of income.

When large areas of land become deserts, populations migrate to other areas leading to overpopulation. Overpopulation leads to a shortage of food due to limited farming lands. Moreover, as a result of overpopulation, people are exposed to poor living conditions leading to crime (World Information Transfer, 2019). Crime, on the other hand, leads to insecurity and a state of disorder in the society hence dragging the rate of development down. Plant life also plays a substantial role in the water cycle. When a region becomes a desert, there is a shortage of rain and the quality of rain experienced if any is of low quality thus unsuitable for human consumption. However, desertification can be remedied by adopting the following;

Farmers should be taught on suitable farming methods. They should be given enough knowledge of how long they should carry out farming on a certain piece of land. They should also be taught on the importance of crop rotation to prevent exhaustion of important nutrients from the soil which can lead to the death of plant life(UNEP, 2010). Recommended methods of farming should also be introduced and taught to farmers and especially those with little or no education.

Land rehabilitation efforts should be emphasized on to eradicate desertification. This could be by reclaiming land through afforestation. Planting of new trees can restore the forest covers and hence eradicate soil erosion and reinforce the water cycle. The relevant authorities should come up with strident measures to deal with those cutting trees and engaging in unfriendly environmental practices.     Technological advances should be made to ensure that the environment is not affected by human activities. For instance, if there is a need to create space for any activity, trees should not be cut down but should be uprooted and planted in other areas(UNEP, 2010). Alternative methods of tackling the issue in hand should also be applied instead of cutting down the vegetation. People should also be taught on the importance of carrying out controlled grazing to keep the environment free of desertification.

United Nations Environmental Programme plays a significant role in the preservation of the environment for the better good of society (UNEP, 2015). For instance, it protects certain natural habitats such as forests from encroachment. This is in an attempt to ensure that important species are maintained and the environment remains suitable for human survival.

Education can play a pivotal role in eradicating the menace of desertification. Through education, people can realize different ways of conserving the environment for the greater good of future generations( THE CLIMATE CHANGE EDUCATION PARTNERSHIP ALLIANCE, 2017). Irrigation schemes can be set in the dry areas through which growth of plantations will improve and hence improve the water cycle. Food security will also improve as the irrigation schemes will be used to grow crops for animal and human consumption.

In conclusion, human activities play a significant role in climate change and desertification. The rate of desertification is increasing at an alarming rate necessitating the need for strident measures to be taken to deal with the situation before things get out of hand. All stakeholders should join hands to save the environment for the greater good of society.




Bennett, L. (2017). Deforestation and Climate Change. The Climate Institute, 1-17.

Bhaker, D. R., & Parwal, M. (2016). Desertification – Causes and Impacts. Allied Journals, 1-3.




UNEP. (2010). Natural disasters and desertification. UNEP, 1-14.

UNEP. (2015). The United Nations Environment Programme and the 2030 Agenda. UNEP, 1-8.

Wang, L.-Y., Xiao, Y., Rao, E.-M., Jiang, L., Xiao, Y., & Ouyang, Z.-Y. (2018). An Assessment of the Impact of Urbanization on Soil Erosion in Inner Mongolia. Environmental Research and Public Health, 1-13.

WELLBORN, M. (1912). THE EVENTS LEADING TO THE CHINESE EXCLUSION ACTS. The Historical Society of Southern California, 49-58.

World Commission on Protected Areas. (2011). World Heritage Desert Landscapes. World Commission on Protected Areas, 1-50.

World Information Transfer. (2019). Desertification: Its Effects on People and Land. World Information Transfe, 1-16.













Desert and Dryness Essay Sample

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