The Drylands Advantage: Protecting the environment, empowering people
This report (PDF) by IFAD shows how drylands support important ecosystems and a great variety of biodiversity, as well as their vital role in the livelihoods and cultural identity of many smallholders. It reveals the crucial role the world’s drylands play in buffering the negative impacts of climate change, land degradation and drought. Present in each continent and covering over 40 per cent of the earth, drylands generally refer to arid, semi-arid and dry subhumid areas, and are home to more than 2 billion people, or one in three people in the world. Drylands are key to global food and nutrition security for the whole planet, with up to 44 per cent of the world’s cultivated systems located in drylands. Drylands are under threat across the world. Despite their importance, drylands are being degraded through a complex combination of climatic (e.g. decreasing rainfall and evaporation of water) and human stresses, such as unsustainable farming techniques, mining and overgrazing. The five case studies on IFAD projects show that human development and a focus on the environment in drylands do not need to be in conflict. According to the report IFAD’s work in drylands contributes to multiple SDGs related to alleviating poverty and empowering women and men, the climate and the environment.