, Volume 1, Issue 2, pp 113-126
Date: 13 Mar 2009

Reviewing the links between desertification and food insecurity: from parallel challenges to synergistic solutions

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The challenges of desertification and food insecurity share considerable common ground, not only in terms of their myriad biophysical, political and socioeconomic drivers and links to the productivity of the land and soil, but also in the discourses and approaches that have informed their management. This paper reviews the elements common to both challenges and argues that due to their cross-cutting nature and the parallel pathways along which each issue has evolved, there is a strong case to be made for taking a synergistic approach towards the development of future solutions. In particular, it is argued that livelihoods and vulnerability approaches could be used as a common platform to inform more integrated interventions. This could enable multiple benefits to be harnessed for both challenges.