African Journal of Agriculture

African Journal of Agriculture ISSN 2375-1134 Vol. 10 (4), pp. 001-023, April, 2023. © International Scholars Journals

Full Length Research Paper

Drivers and Impacts of Desertification and the Possible Actions to Reduce the Loss of Biodiversity: A Review

Larry Williams and Kelvin Smith

Ethiopian Forest Research


Desertification due to climate change has become a mass topic in recent years. It is caused by the emission of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere that have an impact on our environment. It is also one of the most serious socio-economic and environmental problems of our time. The most important objective of this article is to examine the causes and effects of desertification as well as potential solutions to mitigate its effects. The main causes of desertification include: climatic factors and human activities such as overexploitation and inappropriate agricultural practices, deforestation, high population growth, land and rights unsafe access. Desertification also includes soil erosion; capable of genetic erosion of the plants, animals and microorganisms that form the living elements of arid environments. When dry soil plants and animals, including soil microorganisms that have adapted to dry conditions, are lost, they are most likely lost forever. Since some species and genes have adapted well to drier areas, the rate of species loss is greater. Serious impacts are clearly observed in the reduction of forests, wildlife ecosystems and total biodiversity. People in rural areas need to be supported through initiating income diversification to reduce pressure on drylands and therefore environmental management methods to combat desertification are dependent to each other.

Keyword: Biodiversity, Climate change, Deforestation, Desertification, Greenhouse gases