Desertification and Drought in Colombia

By Andreas Horne Morillo – 9th grade

Have you noticed that the climate seems to be getting warmer and more unpredictable? Scientists all over the world, including in Colombia, have studied this phenomena and believe that it is strongly linked to our human behavior in the last decades. Above all, we are relying too much on fossil fuels and on cattle production, both of which produce large amounts of greenhouse gases that are contributing to the warming of the planet’s surface.

According to scientists, a third of the earth’s surface is affected by desertification: more than four billion hectares of land are dried up and have lost their fertility. If desertification keeps increasing at the current rate, good land will become more scarce and lots of biodiversity will be destroyed. In Colombia, experts reckon that 17% of Colombian territory has been affected by desertification, and that in the near future, another 15% will likely be affected. The areas most vulnerable to desertification are:  the Caribbean, Andean, and Orinoco regions. Climate predictions for Colombia include an increase in average temperature of 2-4º C along with increased drought conditions. One of the biggest challenges is to help farmers get adapted to these drastic changes.

What are some simple things that we as the ECA community can do to reduce the advance of desertification? First, we can economize our use of fossil fuels by walking, cycling, or using public transport whenever possible, and also reducing our consumption of resources. Secondly, we can reduce our consumption of meat, especially red meat, as its production has a significant impact on climate change. Thirdly, through our example, we can teach and influence many others so that they too can care for God’s creation in these practical ways.

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