Desertification is a man-made or natural process of degrading arable land into that which has such poor soil that farming is not possible or is nearly impossible. Human causes include over-farming, leveling forests for farm land or urban development, and the use of river dams. Natural causes include climate change toward less yearly rainfall, and erosion caused by water, wind or gravity.

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Beijing's Desert Storm
Article and photos describe desertification in China, where the desert is on the move. With dunes already 75 kilometers from Beijing, environmentalists fear the sand could swallow the capital in a few years.
Desertification and Drought
Internet links to sites related to desertification, maintained by University of Arizona.
Includes information on a documentary film, education outreach and web-enabled services produced with the aim of educating young adults on the science and opportunities associated with climate change and the environmental degradation of global drylands.
French Scientific Committee on Desertification
CSFD provides political decision makers with accurate information on desertification and publishes thematic reports and fact sheets. In French and English.
Institutional Adaptations to Climate Change
Joint Canada/Chile project to research the capacity of institutions in dryland regions to adapt to the impacts of climate change.
The Sahara and the Sahel Observatory (OSS)
Details about mission, objectives and structure of OSS, an organization striving to build up an African arena for cooperation and exchange to combat desertification and poverty. Available in English and French.
Selected Internet Resources on Desertification
Information about intergovernmental organizations, national/regional activities,non-governmental organizations in the field of desertification. Also related reports/news/information sources.
United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification
Provides access to the official documents maintained or received by the UNCCD Secretariat and is a general source of information on the topic of desertification for the interested public.
Web Resources on Desertification
Links to web sites providing information on desertification worldwide.
The Second Meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the U.N. Convention to Combat Desertification
Page includes summaries of daily discusses, which featured concerned nations from around the world. Past event took place in Dakar, Senegal. (November 30, 1998)
First UN Convention to Combat Desertification
Purpose of meeting was to discuss the problem of land degradation and to offer suggestions to prevent this phenomena. Page includes list of participating countries and their ideas. Took place 29 September - 10 October 1997, Rome Italy. (September 29, 1997)

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