Drylands are defined by their scarcity of water. They are zones where precipitation is counterbalanced by evaporation from surfaces and transpiration by plants (evapotranspiration). UNEP defines drylands as tropical and temperate areas with an aridity index of less than 0.65. The drylands can be further classified into four sub-types: dry sub-humid lands, semi-arid lands, arid lands, and hyper-arid lands. Some authorities consider Hyper-arid lands as deserts (UNCCD) although a number of the world’s deserts include both hyper arid and arid climate zones. The UNCCD excludes hyper-arid zones from its definition of drylands.

Drylands cover 41.3% of the earth’s land surface, including 15% of Latin America, 66% of Africa, 40% of Asia and 24% of Europe. Worldwide there is a significantly greater proportion of drylands in developing countries (72%), and the proportion increases with aridity: almost 100% of all Hyper Arid lands are in the developing world. Nevertheless, the United States, Australia and several countries in Southern Europe also contain significant dryland areas.

Drylands are complex, evolving structures whose characteristics and dynamic properties depend on many interrelated links between climate, soil, and vegetation.

General Description About Dry Land

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