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Drylands: Sustaining Livelihoods and Conserving Ecosystem Services. A policy brief based on the Sustainable Management of Marginal Drylands (SUMAMAD) project


The drylands of the world occur on every continent, covering some 41% of the terrestrial surface. One third
of humanity inhabits these harsh degrading landscapes, eking out a living through adaptive processes that
have served them well until recent increases of land degradation. Growing pressures from population growth,
increasingly erratic climatic conditions, and a general lack of investment in drylands are now putting extraordinary strains on the livelihoods of dryland inhabitants and the integrity of their ecosystems. Desperation is resulting in migrations from drylands, threatening not only the political stability of these countries, but also that of neighbouring countries and even other continents. Drylands are prevalent in poor developing countries and have been marginalized and left outside of mainstream development efforts which focus on relatively better-off environments. Nowadays it is recognized that the alleviation of poverty and the achievement of development goals cannot be achieved without significant attention to drylands.

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ORG/UNESCO/10 EORG/UNESCO/10 EBookmainavailable
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