In wealthy countries, hot deserts can provide opportunities for economic development, such as mineral extraction and tourism. To look at a desert, you might imagine that nothing could live there, but in reality a huge variety of animals and plants make the desert their home. The ways in which a desert region is used depends very much on where it is located. The Arizona desert in the Southern United States seems like an unforgiving place where nothing could survive — let alone people. Yet the area is teeming with animals such as desert foxes, mountain lions and wild horses; and many people choose to move here to take advantage of the climate. Arizona has a huge number of lakes, golf courses and urban communities, and older people see it as an attractive place to retire.
What is desertification: It is the term used to describe the changing of semi arid dry areas into desert. This is building lines of stones across a slope to stop water and soil running away. This method preserves the topsoil and has improved farming and food production in the village. This video shows the Sahel region south of the Sahara is at risk of becoming desert. Elders in a village in Burkina Faso describe how the area has changed from a fertile area to a drought-prone near-desert. The area experiences a dry season which can last up to eight or nine months.
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Explore the development opportunities and the challenges associated with these in the Sahara desert. The Sahara desert is the largest hot desert on Earth. It stretches across many countries in north Africa including Egypt, Tunisia, Algeria and Morocco covering an area almost the size of the United States of America. A map to show the location of the Sahara Desert in North Africa.