Fact Sheet


  • Military activities and off-road vehicles do cause extensive, lasting damage to the fragile desert cover.
  • Although mining activities affect small areas directly, they have significant impacts on surrounding areas.
  • Grazing pressure on the desert, and especially on the desert margin, is the most extensive agent of land degradation
  • The impacts of changes in precipitation and temperature patterns due to global climate change will be highly variable from one region to the next, but they are likely to be felt the hardest in desert margins and in desert montane areas, as these are where the principal arid rangelands are located.

Legal Status/Protection

According to Chape, et. Al, 2004: 11.06% of warm deserts and semi-arid deserts are protected areas worldwide and 14.44% of cold-winter deserts are under some form of protection.1

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