A few facts about drylands

28 August 2009 | News story

 

  • Drylands include grassland and savanna woodland and can be home to some of the world’s richest biodiversity.
     
  • In China, 78 million dryland cashmere goats supply up to 75% of the world’s cashmere fibre.
     
  • Two and a half billion people (including 40% of Africans, 39% of Asians and 30% of South Americans) live in drylands.
     
  • In Sudan, dryland forests contribute 70% of the national energy balance.
     
  • The number of international visitors to drylands is increasing—tourists are drawn by their wildlife, scenic beauty and cultural richness.
     
  • In Argentina 70% of cattle is reared in dryland regions.
     
  • Between 1980 and 2000, small-scale investments in soil and water conservation in Burkina Faso created a turn-around in agricultural productivity, even reversing migration to cities.
     
  • In Niger, dryland livestock contribute 46% of household income.
     
  • The global market for camel milk is estimated to be US$10 billion annually.
     
  • In India, 45% of agricultural production takes place in the country’s dryland areas.