Key messages (and videos) from F.A.O. regarding drylands and desertification -


Key messages

  • Drylands cover 6.1 billion hectares, making up 41 % of the Earth’s land surface, and characterized by water scarcity. They cover more than 100 countries across regions and are the basis for livelihoods of more than 2 billion people.
  • Trees and forests in drylands generate a wealth of environmental services, they provide habitats for biodiversity, protect again water and wind erosion and desertification, help water infiltrate soils and contribute to soil fertility.
  • They help increase the resilience of landscapes and communities in the face of climate change
  • Drylands contain 1.11 billion hectares of forests (18% of the global drylands area and 27% of the global forest area), 1.8 billion of grasslands (31% of the global dryland area), 0.86 billion hectares of cropland (14% of the global dryland area).  
  • Trees are present on 1.9 billion ha of the world’s drylands.
  • An estimated 13.5 billion trees grow outside forests in the global drylands. Most of these are in grasslands (6.5 billion trees; 50%) and croplands (5.2 billion trees; 39 %) and 1 billion trees are on land classified as settlements.
  • Land degradation in drylands

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