Desertification is a topic in the Geography section of the UPSC syllabus. Geography is a part of General Studies Paper 1 of the IAS syllabus. It is an important topic for both the prelims and the mains exams. This article talks about desertification.

Desertification is the degradation process by which a fertile land changes itself into a desert by losing its flora and fauna, this can be caused by drought, deforestation, climate change, human activities or improper agriculture. Desertification is a process of degradation of the land. It occurs because of man-made activities and climate change. Desertification takes place when a particular type of biome converts into a desert biome. 

Desertification Causes

  1. Overgrazing
  2. Deforestation
  3. Farming Practices
  4. Urbanization and other types of land development
  5. Climate Change
  6. Stripping the land of resources
  7. Natural Disasters

Desertification Effects

  1. Farming becomes difficult or even impossible in the area
  2. Flooding chances are more
  3. Hunger – because of no farming
  4. Poor quality of water
  5. Overpopulation
  6. Poverty as a result of the above


Consider the following statements:

  1. Desertification makes a land fertile.
  2. Desertification is always a natural process.

Which of the following statements are correct?

  1. 1 only
  2. 2 only
  3. Both 1 and 2
  4. None of the above

Answer: d

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