Desertification in Mauritania
On June 17, 2017, the United Nations draw our attention to the international cooperation that is the key for the implementation of the UN Convention to Combat Desertification, in particular in Africa.
In June last year, PROBA-V captured this image of southeast Mauritania, a country in western Africa that is three quarters desert or semi-desert. It shows steep slopes and cliffs at the eastern edge of the Aoukar basin, once a reed-covered lake that supported a civilization at its shores between 1700 and 400 BC. Today, Aoukar is a dry, natural region of sand dunes and salt pans.
Prolonged drought, aggrevated by poor land management, such as deforestation and over-grazing, resulted in a southward expansion of the Sahara in the country since the 1960s. By the 1980s, the desert threatened human settlements and moved pastoralism. To combat the desertification, the government constructed dams and planted palm trees, with international aid.