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The term DESERTIFICATION was coined in 1949 by A. Aubreville, a French scientist working in West Africa. Aubreville introduced this umbrella term to describe several ecological processes in tropical Africa, in particular the progressive transformation of tropical forests in savanna and drier ecosystems. In advancing this term, Aubreville was attempting to describe the way in which the Sahara Desert was expanding to engulf desert-marginal savanna grasslands. The term was further popularized in the 1970s because of the prolonged Sahelian drought. Since then, desertification has aroused intense debate in the scholarly community about the extent, definition, causes, and how to control this phenomenon, which has led to multiple definitions. In 1983, Michael Glantz and Nicolai Orlovsky reported encountering more than one hundred definitions of desertification in ...

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