37% of Spain at risk from desertification

Tabernas (Almería)

Spain has finally implemented its first Programme of National Action against Desertification which recognises that 37% of the country is at a very high, high or medium risk from desertification, and is in danger of becoming “eroded forever”. This risk is also termed Sahelisation, after the North African region, and with coming climate change is set to worsen.

Since 2001 there has been a huge loss in fertile soil due to erosion totalling 17 tonnes per hectare per year: 67 millon tonnes of soil, much of which gets caught up in reservoirs, and representing an increase of 8% since 2001. The problem has been seriously heightened by intensive agriculture and the spread of urbanisation and infrastructures. El Mundo

Note: This figure of 37% has risen from 36% last year. See Threat of desertification (also with map of area)

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