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Convergence of global change issues

At any given place on Earth, complex human-environment interactions are at play. They include differing rates and magnitudes of drivers (e.g. overgrazing, climate change, agricultural practices) and differing consequences in land degradation (e.g. soil erosion, changes in productivity, loss of biodiversity). The occurrence of multiple global change issues at a location suggests a potential for land degradation, at least in some form. This layer depicts where global change issues relevant to land degradation coincide at a global scale. It helps identifying local or regional areas of concern where land degradation processes may be underway.

RCoE Action:

Cherlet, M., Hutchinson, C., Reynolds, J., Hill, J., Sommer, S., von Maltitz, G. (Eds.), World Atlas of Desertification, Publication Office of the European Union, Luxembourg, 2018.


The global map shown here does not represent land degradation. Rather, it illustrates the convergence of evidence of global change issues (GCIs) relevant to land degradation. The correct interpretation of the map must consider contextual information on regional and local conditions, as per individual user’s knowledge. Concerns can be validated or dismissed only by evaluating them within their local biophysical, social, economic and political contexts. Local context provides an understanding of causes and consequences of degradation, but also offers guidance for efforts to control or reverse it.

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