Desertification - A Brief Overview

This article shares details on the meaning of desertification, the 7 different causes behind desertification, and the 6 negative and harmful effects of desertification like increase in poverty, hunger, fall in farm outputs etc.

Desertification is a topic in the Geography section of the UPSC syllabus. Aspirants would find this article very helpful while preparing for the IAS Exam.

Desertification – Degradation of Fertile Land

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 Impacts

  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

Desertification – Latest News

  1. For years, commentators have questioned the popularity of sugarcane in arid, drought-prone Marathwada. When farmers reluctantly shifted to tur in 2016, the state government had the opportunity to promote better crop planning, as per water experts. But things didn’t pan out on expected lines.If things continue unchanged, water-stressed regions such as Marathwada could be heading towards desertification, as per opinions shared by experts.
  2. According to statistics, China has 2.61 million square kilometers of desert, meaning more than a quarter of the country’s land is either degraded or lost to sand. However, thanks to decades-long efforts to combat desertification, China has achieved substantial progress in sand control and ecological protection.

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

Also see:

Relevant Links

The above details would help candidates prepare for UPSC 2020.

Candidates preparing for the Civil Service exam can refer to the below-given links, for more information related to climate change, environment and ecology, water scarcity, and various Government of India schemes to tackle the problem of Climate change.

Relevant Links


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