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Desert Nature


Desertification: is the degradation of lands in arid, semi-arid and sub-humid areas as a result of various factors, including but not limited to climate variation and human activities.


The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is considered to be one of the countries that suffered greatly from the phenomena of desertification and drought, as the various regions of the Kingdom are dominated by a dry climate characterized by low and irregular rain, high temperatures and frequent droughts.

Its soil is of low fertility and there is a scarcity of water resources, which has led to a decrease in vegetation and forests, and the existence of fragile and sensitive environments to any change resulting from human activity or natural conditions.


These factors, in addition to the overuse of natural resources (soil, water, and natural vegetation cover of pastures, forests, and biodiversity) have led to a deterioration in these resources, and the situation becomes more complicated with severe climate changes, sand encroachment, and the spread of desertification . Resulting in land degradation and reduced productivity; The lands affected by desertification in the Kingdom represent 68% and 70% of the total area of the Kingdom during the years 2010 and 2014 respectively, and this percentage has increased slightly, indicating the land degradation due to the phenomena of desertification.


In spite of this, the vegetation cover, which did not exceed 1.1% of the area in the Kingdom during 2010 and 2011, has maintained its spread and witnessed a slight growth during the period 2012-2014, which indicates a decrease in land degradation as a result of the programs, measures and policies to reduce desertification such as the enforcing of Anti-logging. Overgrazing and strengthening partnerships with all government agencies, NPOs and civil society .


The problem of desertification is one of the most crucial environmental challenges that threaten the future of mankind, due to its direct effects on human food sources and, consequently, on human health and life. The manifestations of desertification in the Kingdom are represented in the deterioration of vegetation cover in forests and natural pastures due to logging, overgrazing, increase in urban development and agricultural activity, and increase in random overlanding, all of which are related to population growth, the increasing requirements of the population due to the high standard of living.


These pressures have led to increased water scarcity and pollution, soil erosion, frequent floods as well as recurring periods of drought. The deterioration of biological diversity is one of the results of desertification, as some studies indicated that there are 200 plant species threatened with extinction in the Kingdom in addition to soil salinization and its reflection on the decline in plant production in some sites, sand encroachment and the formation of dust storms in a addition to various other factors.


Preserving lands from degradation, combating desertification, increasing vegetation cover and reducing degraded areas in all regions of the Kingdom, establishing local plant seed incubator stations, establishing a seed bank and plant genetic assets to stabilize moving sand dunes, preventing overgrazing, expanding the use of unconventional water, establishing reserves and spreading And the distribution of rain and torrential water and the establishment of feed stores, in addition to encouraging the Public and Private sectors to establish environmental development and preservation projects aimed at increasing the green land areas. It is also important to address the causes of vegetation degradation, apply deterrent regulations (in all regions of the Kingdom), importing firewood and charcoal (as well as raise awareness).

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