Desertification overview

Desertification is the process by which land becomes increasingly dry, until the moisture in the land is depleted. This leads to the eventual absence of vegetation and the animals that thrive in such conditions.

Desertification has occurred a number of times in human history, and has been caused by both natural climate change and the changes affected on an area by human interaction.

Thematic Results

With water security being one of Africa's biggest challenges, ESA's TIGER initiative is using satellite observations to provide local authorities with the information they need to develop this vital resource.

Herding from space

07 October 2013

Image for Herding from space

Satellites see defined lines of nomadic pastoralism in one of the world's poorest countries.

Wetlands are havens of biodiversity, and have important ecological, hydrological and economic value, but their misuse can have devastating consequences. Satellite data are being used for wetland conservation and management.

The Rio+20 summit on promoting jobs, clean energy and a more sustainable use of our planet's resources closed today after three days of talks. During the summit, the role of Earth observation in sustainable development was highlighted.

As the UN marked World Food Day earlier this week, international representatives convened in Korea to discuss ways to curb the loss of productive land to desertification. Satellites play an important role in the monitoring and assessment of drylands.

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