methods to prevent desertification

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    On a basic level, planting trees is a good method to prevent desertification.  Farmers in particular can alter their farming habits to help; for example, planting perennials along with crops can prevent erosion.  Rotating land use between grazing and farming can help recycle nutrients.

    Other efforts vary by region; for example, people in the Sahel region of Africa have discovered that fertilizing with a certain type of rock can help vegetation grow.  Land and water use must be managed carefully, utilizing both general and local resources in order to create the best land use strategy, which usually involves a combination of traditional practices and land use technology.

    Some governments in affected areas can create anti-desertification policies, like the U.N.’s Plan of Action to Combat Desertification, which came into effect in 1996.

    The biggest thing we can do to prevent desertification is to EDUCATE! Many people in afflicted areas do not know that there is a problem, and if they do, they do not know how to prevent more problems and reverse damage that already exists.  Even if they do, they often value their style of life more than the environment.  Scientists, on the other hand, sometimes lose sight of the realities of peoples’ lives in their campaign for the environment.  Education can help scientists and the public meet in the middle.

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