What makes the desert beautiful is that somewhere hides a well …
(Antoine de Saint-Exupéry)
The case studies are addressed to teachers at the end of primary school education
and make up part of the pedagogical kit on desertification devised by UNESCO and the UNCCD. They were submitted by the UNCCD national focal points and by non-governmental organisations, (NGOs) working in the field of combating desertification in response to a joint letter sent from UNESCO and UNCCD inviting them to submit examples of projects to combat desertification. Two case studies were retained from UNEP (United Nations Environment Programme) within the framework of the ‘Saving the Drylands’ award. Choosing the case studies from the numerous replies received was no easy task, but the final selection attempts to provide a global vision of the root causes and consequences of drought and desertification in the different regions of the world. We would like to thank all the UNCCD national focal points and the NGOs who have participated, and in particular those involved with the case studies that were not included for reasons of a structural nature.
Attentive reading of the case studies should provide the teacher with the knowledge base necessary to help combat desertification.
In the classroom, he/she will be able to enhance his course on desertification with positive examples intended to persuade children to adopt a healthy attitude towards their environment and the scarce natural resources present in their region. The global approach of this compilation, introducing the causes and consequences of desertification as well as solutions in the continents affected, aims to raise awareness among children affected by universal environmental problems. In addition, comparing methods employed by different people will help all those concerned to think globally, enlarging the horizons for each of them.
At the end of each case study, ‘classroom activities’ are proposed that will help the teacher incorporate the case studies throughout the course.
When discussing a particular project in class, the teacher could invite the children to respond by asking them to locate the country in question on a map and compare them with their own situation. Finally, tasks including drawing assignments, questions and answers and role-playing could be assigned to complement the study.
The words underlined throughout the text are explained in the glossary at the end of the collection.
Happy reading and good work!
You’ll see. Combating desertification bears fruit!
All statistics mentioned in this document are provided by the United Nations World Statistics Pocketbook (United Nations publications, 2007)