Green Desert, Better Environment
Once upon a time, greening the desert was a challenge. Nowadays a green desert is possible. To achieve it and maintain it is an important and increasingly urgent topic, because it can be an answer to global water, energy, and food scarcity problems.
Techniques that enable the sustainable cultivation of trees and crops in arid lands play an important role in reversing desertification problems evident around the world.
The Green Desert ideal has cultural, educational, economic, social and scientific aspects, combining traditional agricultural practices with modern and alternative techniques like hydroponics, permaculture and vermiculture, all in a sustainable manner. The greening of deserts is a sustainable project for irrigation and forestation of dry areas or regions near water sources like lakes, rivers, seas or oceans. Also, we need to promote the benefits of clean technologies like irrigation with natural water sources and renewable energy supplies. The Green Desert ideal cannot be attained without involving people, gaining social support and realizing cultural change. Without a change in the mindset of the people and their perspectives on the future, the sustainability of any endeavour would not be possible.
Thus, the Green Desert concept entails modern agriculture based on technology and innovation, supported by enhanced environmental awareness, in order to attain sustainability.
Mankind has changed the balance of planet earth by living beyond its means. Global warming is one of today’s most acute problems, affecting every human being irrespective of age, gender, wealth or nationality. Since the age of industrialization, the natural balance has changed drastically until now it is beyond affordable limits. A major factor of today’s global warming is the consumption of fossil fuels, causing an increase in carbon dioxide (CO2), methane and other greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. These hydrocarbons heat up the planet due to the greenhouse effect, triggering the interaction between Earth’s atmosphere and incoming radiation from the sun. Global warming is forecast to have devastating consequences not only for the climate of our planet but also for all living beings. It is expected to have dire consequences for planet earth, with climate change, loss of biodiversity and desertification.
Desertification is the process of land degradation in arid, semi-arid and sub-humid areas due to various factors including climatic variations and human activities. Desertification occurs when land originally of another type of biome turns into a desert biome due to factors such as overgrazing, urbanization, climate change, over-drafting of groundwater, deforestation, natural disasters and tillage practices. This transformation of biome results in persistent degradation of dryland and fragile ecosystems and loss of biodiversity.
One third of the world’s land surface is threatened by desertification. Across the world it affects the livelihoods of millions of people who depend on the benefits of ecosystems that drylands provide. The amount of land threatened by desertification increases by 12 million hectares each year, making it a global problem. As the land becomes more arid, it can no longer support the number of people it did in the past. As a result, massive numbers of rural people migrate to urban areas, causing not only an environmental problem but also an economic challenge.