ERIC Number: ED144861
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1977-Aug
Reference Count: 0
Spreading Deserts--The Hand of Man. Worldwatch Paper 13.
Eckholm, Erik; Brown, Lester R.
The report identifies regions in which deserts and arid zones are increasing; discusses social and climatic causes of deserts; and suggests ways to cope with and reverse problems of famine, malnutrition, and drought. Increasingly, land is being sapped of its ability to sustain agriculture and human habitation north and south of the Sahara, in Iraq, India, the Argentine, Chile, Australia, and the southwestern United States. This is due to overgrazing, soil erosion caused by improper cultivation, and farming without proper soil renewal. Soil cannot hold rainwater in devegetated areas and natural droughts create disasters because water stores become depleted. Underdeveloped countries with large nomadic populations living on arid land have not acquired attitudes of food production for the benefit of the society in general. In these countries, production for individual survival has created problems of unnecessarily large herds and overcultivation. Although technology exists to develop better farming and animal husbandry techniques, people must first accept the resultant change in lifestyle. Solutions include establishment of herding cooperatives, tree planting programs, agricultural modernization, and improvement of grain reserve facilities. (Author/AV)
Descriptors: Agriculture, Agronomy, Animal Husbandry, Climate, Depleted Resources, Developing Nations, Earth Science, Geographic Regions, Global Approach, Grains (Food), Land Use, Physical Environment, Physical Geography, Plant Growth, Productivity, Soil Science, Water Resources, World Problems
Worldwatch Institute, 1776 Massachusetts Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20036 ($2.00, paperbound)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: United Nations Environment Program, New York, NY.
Authoring Institution: Worldwatch Inst., Washington, DC.