United Nations: World Environment Day 2006

Today, June 5th 2006, is the UN's "World Environment Day". This year they chose to highlight something we don't hear about often enough: Natural deserts and drylands also need to be protected. These areas that most people consider to be almost "dead" are in fact vital ecosystems. Of course, we must fight the desertification of non-dryland areas, but we must also help preserve natural deserts. "In a landmark report issued today, UNEP notes the threats and opportunities in the world's 12 desert regions ranging from the Sahara in North Africa, the planet's largest, to the Atacama in Chile in South America to the Sonora in the United States to the Kizil Kum in Afghanistan to the Gobi in China and the Great Victoria desert in Australia. 'The world's deserts are facing dramatic changes as a result of global climate change, high water demands, tourism, and salt contamination of irrigated soils," the Agency said in a statement summarizing the report'". ::World Environment Day 2006 official website, ::UN marks World Environment Day with focus on preventing desertification, ::Global Deserts Outlook summary, ::Global Desert Outlook full report

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