Healthy soils are fundamental to life. They grow the food we eat and the wood we use for shelter and fuel, purify the water we drink, and hold fast to the roots of the natural world we cherish. But they are under threat, especially from human overuse and climate change. Nowhere is this more evident than in dryland areas, where soil degradation – or desertification – wears away at this essential resource. Though it is a challenge, preserving and restoring healthy soils in drylands is possible, and it concerns all of us.