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About Global Deserts Outlook

The Global Deserts Outlook is the first thematic assessment report in the Global Environment Outlook (GEO) series of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). A UNEP contribution to the International Year of Deserts and Desertification in 2006, the report aims to help raise global public awareness of the state of the world's deserts.

The Global Deserts Outlook presents a panorama of the environmental status of the world's deserts: their location and extent, uniqueness and vulnerability, biodiversity and natural resources. The report provides a balanced picture of deserts as ecosystems which form a special part of the world's natural and cultural heritage, and not simply as land that is the end result of the process of desertification. Few places on earth contain a richer collection of natural adaptations to the environment.

Readers are challenged to consider the development potential of deserts and their conservation needs, to explore what would be the most appropriate and sustainable livelihoods for people living in desert areas. Deserts do not have much water, but they do have other natural resources. The knowledge and technology exist to manage these resources sustainably; the challenge lies with determining and implementing appropriate actions for desirable long-term outcomes.

 
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