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UN issues desertification warning

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The impact of human activities on wilderness qualities has been modelled using the GLOBIO-2 model. The model uses infrastructure and settlements as proxies and measure the degree by which habitats have reduced their wilderness qualities, by fragmentation and disturbance. According to the model, huge tracts of desert areas are relatively undisturbed, the majority of highly impacted areas are in the drylands of Central Asia and North America.
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Breaking Earth News
The United Nations



Tens of millions of people could be driven from their homes by encroaching deserts, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa and Central Asia, a report says.
The study by the United Nations University suggests climate change is making desertification "the greatest environmental challenge of our times".
If action is not taken, the report warns that some 50 million people could be displaced within the next 10 years.
The study was produced by more than 200 experts from 25 countries.
This report does not pull any punches, says BBC environment reporter Matt McGrath.
One third of the Earth's population - home to about two billion people - are potential victims of its creeping effect, it says.
"Desertification has emerged as an environmental crisis of global proportions, currently affecting an estimated 100 to 200 million people, and threatening the lives and livelihoods of a much larger number," the study said.
The overexploitation of land and unsustainable irrigation practices are making matters worse, while climate change is also a major factor degrading the soil, it says.

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