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Professor A.M. Imevbore, Obaferni Awolowo University,

Nigeria, spoke about desertification as a threat to the conservation and utilization of biodiversity. He emphasized the need to redefine desertification. He pointed out that desertification can be defined by vegetation cover, short savanna, woodlands, and by impact of human activity such as logging, reduced availability of water and reduction in woody biomass. He emphasized the importance of conserving biodiversity in the drylands and said that 64 out of 300 species of medicinal plants are located in the drylands and that the few existing plant species in the drylands serve multiple purposes. He also highlighted the importance of the tourism industry based on wildlife found in the drylands, such as Kenya. He concluded that there is need to conserve biodiversity and underlined the vast amount of research required to manage the drylands efficiently. These include availability of remote-sensing data for drought preparedness, strengthening of institutional structures for the management of wildlife, fauna and flora and the search for greater perenniality.