The Sahara Desert is spreading towards the Mediterranean with an estimated 74 million acres of fertile land lost, with countries losing 1,000 km of land annually. Desertification will have caused 60 million people in sub-Saharan desert to migrate.
Nigeria, Africa’s most populous country, is losing 351,000 hectares of rangeland and cropland to desertification each year.
Sand storms had buried 124 villages in Iran in 2002.
“Up to 100 villages have been submerged by windblown dust and sand” in Afghanistan according to a U.N. Environment Programme (UNEP) team report.
From 1950 to 1975 an average of 1,560 square kilometers of land were lost to desert each year in China. Between 1975 and 1987, this climbed to 2,100 square kilometers a year. From then until the century’s end, it jumped to 3,600 square kilometers of land going to desert annually.
In Brazil, where some 58 million hectares of land are affected, economic losses from desertification are estimated at $300 million per year.
In Mexico, 700,000 people migrate to other places due to land desertification each year.
Date: 3 August 2006
Source: Yale environment360
Date: 26 June 2009