Erosion can destroy soils to such an extent that nothing grows there anymore. Desertification occurs in many places around the world and has various causes: water and wind erosion, salinization, overgrazing, droughts, forest fires. Each cause requires another measure to turn the tide. Together with parties from all over the world, Wageningen UR is working on solutions. Wageningen World, Wageningen UR’s quarterly magazine for alumni and affiliates, pays attention to this research.
The main lesson of the global research into keeping desertification at bay is that preventative measures to avoid soil degradation are always cheaper than measures to recover already ruined soils (and therefore entire ecosystems).
Oil spill, proteins and the pig genome
Besides the story of "barren soils", the new Wageningen World magazine also includes detailed stories about the ecological consequences of the use of dispersants on the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico a few years ago and about the search for alternative protein sources. Furthermore, there's an interesting interview with the Wageningen professor Breeding and genetics that led the worldwide research into the pig genome, Martien Groenen.
The magazine is delivered to alumni and affiliates of Wageningen UR in the week of March 11th. A PDF version of Wageningen World is also available.