Deserts are getting bigger. Every year, the land around many deserts gets dry and changes into new desert. This is called desertification.
The land can get too dry when there’s no rain for a long time. Sometimes people also make the land dry. When there are too many farms in one place, animals eat all the plants, and the soil blows away. Then new plants can’t grow and there isn’t food for everyone.
Desertification is a big problem in countries in Africa near the Sahara Desert. In 50 years, these countries have lost 650,000 square kilometers of land — that’s about the same size as France. Millions of people here are hungry, because they can’t grow food in the desert.
How can people help to stop desertification? In many countries, people are growing more trees. Trees stop the soil blowing away. In China, people are using a wall of trees to stop desertification near the Gobi Desert. The wall is 4,000 kilometers long!