In the 1800s, François René Chateaubriand observed that, “The forest precedes man and the desert follows him.” That observation is fundamentally true and has been believed to be permanent. I.e., once mankind reduces a formerly lush environment to a desert, it would remain desert forever.
However, here’s a video that shows that “desertified” land can be rehabilitated and restored to its formerly lush condition. Visible results can be seen in as little as three years. Significant results are possible in five.
The key to this recovery appears to be restricting the herds of domestic livestock from over-grazing. Thus, it appears that the forest may precede man, but the deserts don’t follow man, per se, so much as man’s domestic herd animals. It follows that if you restrict over-grazing, you can not only preserve existing fertile lands but even restore many of those lands that have been previously degraded.
The ideas advanced in this video inspire a sense of optimism. In a sense, we might be able to rebuild our former “gardens of Eden”. We aren’t helpless; there are positive things that we can do.