Paris, 17 September Terming desertification as a reversible phenomena, the United Nations said it is a serious problem which requires global governance.
“Desertification is a reversible phenomenon but it requires a global governance,” said Rajeb Boulharouf, Co-ordinator, United Nations Convention to Combat desertification (UNCCD).
“The International Desertification Conference, which ended today in Madrid, had managed to convince that the situation is serious,” he said.
“More than 200 million people were affected by desertification while another 1.2 billion people were living in risky areas,” he said adding it caused global annual damage of $48 billion, and forced people to migrate on a vast scale.
“If nothing is done in the next ten years, 50 million people will migrate towards rich countries,” he warned.
“The migration phenomenon has witnessed no change, except its dynamics, influx and pace,” Boulharouf contended.
He quoted the cases of South Korea and Japan, which feel the effects of sandstorms in the Gobi Desert, Italy, which is concerned about water management in Calabria, and Spain, one third of which is becoming a desert.
“We have to begin with defining joint parameters allowing us to assess desertification in the different affected areas in the world,” he stressed.
“We have to determine specific indicators such as water resources management and recovery of top soil,” he added.