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Desertification is one of the biggest environmental issues the world is facing today, affecting 3.2 billion people and posing a threat to global food security. What is desertification and what can be done to combat it?


You would be forgiven for thinking that desertification meant that the whole world was turning into a desert. Contrary to its name, desertification does not describe the expansion of deserts, but rather the degradation of land as a result of climate changes and human activities. This degradation means that land can become agriculturally unproductive and no longer support the populations that rely on it including both human and non-human animals.

Mismanagement of land and water resources, climatic changes, cutting down trees, and an exponential growth in the population of humans and farmed animals have all had their part to play in reducing productivity of land, leaving an ecological and biological desert where crops once prospered.

The scale of this problem shouldn’t be underestimated. Land degradation already affects around 1.9 billion hectares of land and the UN predicts that 50 million people, or more, will leave their homes by 2020 as a result of desertification.

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About Vegan Life

It’s finally June, the first month of summer, and that means it’s time to head outside. Remember to grab your cruelty-free, vegan sun cream on your way out, as well as your trusty copy of Vegan Life. We’ve got a great issue for you this month and I’m particularly excited about sharing our Animal Rights Special with you. We have guest articles from PETA, Viva!, Animal Equality and the Humane League. These organisations are talking about their successes, animal rights after Brexit and current campaigns to get behind. We have also had the pleasure of working with some fantastic writers this month including Megan Banks, who is reporting on her experience of 28 days as a plant based fitness mentor and our regular columnist, Maria Slough, who has written a inspiring piece about Dr Rebecca Ellen Jones, also known as the Vegan Doctor. This month we’re bringing you an interview with viral celebrity Macka B about his music, becoming a YouTube sensation and veganism. Macka has some great tips about spirituality and embracing your own style, as well as veganism. He told me: “To me, if you’re eating death then it’s going to be on you; you’re going to be thinking more negative thoughts.” Finally, we have an article about the environmental impacts of desertification around the world, which is a global threat to food security. It is an issue that I was aware of, but having researched and read the article in June’s issue, I am astonished by the magnitude of the problem. The Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations estimates that 25 per cent of all land globally is highly degraded. I’d love to hear your thoughts on desertification — please send us an email to let us know what you think. Enjoy the summer sun!