The Gobi desert in China puts 400 million people at risk due to a doubling of livestock production in the last 30 years since land has been overgrazed to the point of exhaustion, causing precious topsoil to be blown away by winds.
Desertification cost the Chinese economy $6.5 billion and Spain US$200 million per year. Lake Chad in Africa has shrunk 95% leaving only sand, while in Kazakhstan 50% of cropland has been abandoned since 1980 due to desertification. In Iran, strong sandstorms buried 100 villages in 2002.
Date: 27 April 2008