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Term Arid, semiarid and dry sub-humid areas
Definition

Geographic areas in which the ratio between annual precipitation and potential evapotranspiration is between 0.05 and 0.65, excluding polar and subpolar regions.  Arid and semiarid areas comprise 30% of the Earth’s surface and are characterized by a negative hydrological balance nearly all year long.  In these regions, land degradation is a serious problem, as they are very fragile and vulnerable to desertification.

Arid, semiarid, and dry sub-humid areas make up 70% of the Dominican Republic’s national territory (33,400 square kilometres) and present higher rates of soil degradation1.  These zones are found in the Southwest, Northwest, and the Southeast, where the lowest rates of precipitation in the country are found, with monthly averages of between 400 and 500 millimeters for the rainy months, and under 200 millimeters for the months with less rainfall.

1Secretaría de Medio Ambiente y Recursos Naturales. 3er Informe Nacional de lucha contra Desertificación y Sequía de la Republica Dominicana; GTI: Santo Domingo, DO, 2006.

 

Topic  BiodiversityForest resourcesEnvironmental managementUse / land coverSoil and waterHydrologyClimate