Algiers conference to tackle Africa desertification

Sep 06, 2011
A man walks by a car covered by sand in the village of Boumdeid, near Kiffa in Mauritania, in 2002. Regional cooperation to improve the fight against creeping desertification of the African continent is at the centre of a conference that is to open here Thursday.

Regional cooperation to improve the fight against creeping desertification of the African continent is at the centre of a conference that is to open here Thursday.

"It is difficult to bring action programmes of the continent's sub-regions in line if national programmes (to fight the problem) are insufficient," Youcef Brahimi of the Rome-based UN agency Global Mechanism to combat told AFP.

Brahimi said the UN agency on Tuesday presented a platform for cooperation and partnership as a basis for the Algiers conference.

"We're talking about an Internet site that has useful information on financial opportunities," he said, adding that those interested in a partnership or a mobilisation of resources could develop these partnerships online.

More than 40 will take part in the Algiers meeting that is to adopt a "roadmap" to stop encroaching deserts.

The European Union's executive Commission has earmarked 3.2 million euros (4.5 million dollars) for the project.

"In Africa, between 1998 and today, most countries have worked out the details of their programmes, but unfortunately the financial resources announced by various regional and international bodies have not followed suit," Boubacar Cisse of the UN Convention to combat desertification told APS news agency.

Cisse said at least 43 percent of arable land in Africa is threatened by desertification which implies that 70 percent of the continent's economic activity is under threat.

Desertification and ensuing famine, and migrations also threaten 40 percent of the African population, or 400 million people.

Thursday's Algiers meeting comes before the 10th session of the decision-making body of the UN Convention to Combat Desertification which opens in next month.

Algeria presides the convention's African group for two years until the end of 2011.

Explore further: MEPs back plans to slash use of plastic shopping bags

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Satellite data instrumental in combating desertification

Oct 07, 2009

With land degradation in dryland regions continuing to worsen, the UN Convention to Combat Desertification has agreed on scientist-recommended indicators for monitoring and assessing desertification that signatory ...

China may need 300 years to beat desertification

Jan 05, 2011

Huge population pressures, scarce rainfall and climate change have made China the world's biggest victim of desertification, a problem that could take 300 years to reverse, state media said Wednesday.

Recommended for you

More, bigger wildfires burning western US, study shows

3 hours ago

Wildfires across the western United States have been getting bigger and more frequent over the last 30 years – a trend that could continue as climate change causes temperatures to rise and drought to become ...

User comments : 0

More news stories

China says massive area of its soil polluted

A huge area of China's soil covering more than twice the size of Spain is estimated to be polluted, the government said Thursday, announcing findings of a survey previously kept secret.

Clean air: Fewer sources for self-cleaning

Up to now, HONO, also known as nitrous acid, was considered one of the most important sources of hydroxyl radicals (OH), which are regarded as the detergent of the atmosphere, allowing the air to clean itself. ...

There's something ancient in the icebox

Glaciers are commonly thought to work like a belt sander. As they move over the land they scrape off everything—vegetation, soil, and even the top layer of bedrock. So scientists were greatly surprised ...

Hackathon team's GoogolPlex gives Siri extra powers

(Phys.org) —Four freshmen at the University of Pennsylvania have taken Apple's personal assistant Siri to behave as a graduate-level executive assistant which, when asked, is capable of adjusting the temperature ...

Better thermal-imaging lens from waste sulfur

Sulfur left over from refining fossil fuels can be transformed into cheap, lightweight, plastic lenses for infrared devices, including night-vision goggles, a University of Arizona-led international team ...

Researchers discover target for treating dengue fever

Two recent papers by a University of Colorado School of Medicine researcher and colleagues may help scientists develop treatments or vaccines for Dengue fever, West Nile virus, Yellow fever, Japanese encephalitis and other ...