A few facts about drylands


Mauritanian desert south of the Banc d'Arguin National Park
  • 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.
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