Desertification could affect 1,482 municipalities in Brazil, attaining an area of over a million square kilometers. Brazil has 5560 municipalities.
The region, which encompasses the Northeast and part of the states of Minas Gerais and Espírito Santo, has around 32 million inhabitants. Most of them lack access to potable water and basic sanitation.
According to the Minister of Environment, Marina Silva, the attempt to combat desertification is based on recommendations contained in a United Nations Convention signed by Brazil.
The country now has a national action program to combat this practice. Silva believes that, to implement the plan, “a united effort is needed between the spheres of federal, state, and municipal government, society, research institutions, and local communities.”
According to the Minister, the fact that Brazil’s semi-arid region is the most populous in the world increases the country’s responsibility in the fight against desertification.
Silva opened the Seminar on the Reconciliation of Government Policies to Combat Desertification and Coexistence with the Semi-Arid Region.
The meeting, at the headquarters of the National Confederation of Industry (CNI), marked World Day to Combat Desertification, instituted by the UN and commemorated, June 17.
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