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Project Combating desertification in Mediterranean Europe : linking science with stakeholders

DESERTLINKS is a European, international and interdisciplinary research project funded by the European Commission under Framework Programme 5.

DESERTLINKS involves eleven research groups from universities and institutes in Portugal, Spain, Italy, Greece, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom.

This project comes at a time when political and scientific initiatives on European desertification are moving in a parallel direction. The UNCCD have developed a strategy for combating desertification that requires affected countries to develop monitoring techniques and national and regional action programmes involving stakeholders. Desertification indicators have been identified as a potentially useful tool for both management and monitoring, and the Northern Mediterranean countries are searching for a common methodology for identifying and using such indicators.
Valuable and useful results, knowledge and expertise, including proto-type indicator systems at different scales, have been obtained from previous research into land degradation and desertification in Mediterranean Europe. This will be combined with new kinds of indicators, identified by the local stakeholders in a number of desertification-affected areas. The resulting indicator system will be a significant contribution to the work of the UNCCD, and in particular the Northern Mediterranean countries.

Project number EVK2-CT-2001-00109
Subject(s) no translation available , no translation available , no translation available , no translation available
Geographical coverage United Kingdom,Portugal,Greece,Italy,Spain,Netherlands,
Budget (in €) 0
Programme FP5 EESD
Web site

DESERTLINKS will support stakeholders at the local, sub-national and national level in combating desertification. It will bring the results of past research on the physical and socio-economic aspects of desertification to bear on practical ways to combat it at various geographical scales from the local to the European.DESERTLINKS will provide indicators to monitor desertification as well as syntheses of the understanding of the physical and socio-economic processes that cause it. It will establish the ways in which major current Mediterranean-wideband uses are affecting desertification. It will show how to mitigate its effects by taking different land management decisions at both the public policy and individual level and by adopting practical land management techniques.


DIS4ME: Desertification Indicators System for Mediterranean Europe

The desertification indicators system for Mediterranean Europe has been developed by the DESERTLINKS project. It gives access to around 150 indicators of relevance to Mediterranean desertification. It has been designed to provide a tool to enable users from a wide range of backgrounds (including scientists, policymakers and farmers) to:

  • identify where desertification is a problem,
  • assess how critical the problem is,
  • better understand the processes of desertification.

The work is scheduled for completion by the end of March 2005, and until then it should be treated as a prototype, subject to continued development and improvement. However, already around 100 indicators have been fully described, their use at local and regional scales has been demonstrated, and tools to calculate composite indices of desertification status and risk have been completed.

You are welcome to access the indicator system and give us your comments and feedback. To obtain the necessary password, please contact us by email.

Period [01/12/2001 - 31/03/2005]