Desertification and climate change: are we fighting the same fight?

Just out 11 January 2024
"Désertification et changement climatique, un même combat ?" (Desertification and climate change: are we fighting the same fight?), published by Editions Quae on 4 January, answers the questions surrounding the desertification phenomenon against a backdrop of climate change. The scientists from IRD, IRAM and CIRAD who coordinated the book give us an in-depth analysis aimed at improving our understanding and deconstructing preconceived ideas about the phenomenon.

© R.Belmin, Cirad.

What causes plant and soil degradation? What are the consequences for ecosystems, biodiversity, water resources and climate? What are the impacts on human societies and the economy?

The fight against desertification, which is often wrongly seen as a faraway issue for European countries, is having difficulty emerging as an environmental priority. However, it is not inevitable.

This book demonstrates that desertification is not necessarily linked to climate change and does not only happen in dry zones, although they are the most exposed. It clarifies the concept in all its different geographical, biological and socioeconomic manifestations. The authors use the latest scientific studies to demonstrate the methods for and expected benefits of fighting desertification and land degradation.

The book is intended for scientists, NGOs, journalists, students and policymakers, and deconstructs a range of preconceived ideas with a view to fuelling national and international debate.


Bernard Bonnet, Jean-Luc Chotte, Pierre Hiernaux, Alexandre Ickowicz, Maud Loireau. 2024.

Désertification et changement climatique, un même combat ?

Editions Quae, Enjeux Sciences Collection, 128 p.

About the book's coordinators


Zootechnician and pastoral geographer, programme officer at the Institut

de recherches et d‘applications des méthodes de développement.


Soil scientist at IRD, expert in soil degradation, ex-member of the

science-policy interface of the Desertification Convention and Chair of the

Comité scientifique français de la désertification (CSFD).


Agricultural engineer with a PhD in ecology, consultant to Pastoralisme Conseil

by virtue of his 50 years' experience in Africa.


Veterinarian and zootechnician at CIRAD, inspector general of public veterinary health

and FAO expert in livestock system sustainability.


Agricultural engineer with a PhD in geography. Conducts science of sustainability

research at IRD.