Equator Prize for Sustainable Land Management in Sub-Saharan Africa (UNCCD-CSO)

The Equator Prize for Sustainable Land Management in Sub-Saharan Africa call for nominations is now open.

The Prize will recognize and celebrate local grassroots organizations that are improving the livelihoods of rural communities in dryland ecosystems in sub-Saharan Africa, through sustainable land management.

The Prize is funded by a Global Environment Facility (GEF) project, implemented by OSISA, ENDA, and UNDP. The project seeks to improve the socio-economic development of rural communities in sub-Saharan Africa through sustainable land management (SLM), and to empower local grassroots organizations in sub-Saharan Africa to participate and influence the implementation of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD), TerrAfrica and other SLM processes, programs and policies.

Ten winners will receive 5,000 USD and will attend the award ceremony in Nairobi, Kenya on 17 June 2014. In addition, two or three winners will be eligible for “Special Recognition” for the Equator Prize for sustainable land management. They will receive 20,000 USD, and will be invited to the Equator Prize award ceremony to be held in New York on 22 September 2014.

Nomination forms, the online nomination system, the eligibility requirements and selection criteria can be found at http://www.equatorinitiative.org <http://www.equatorinitiative.org> .

Nominations may be submitted in the following languages: Arabic, English, French, Portuguese, and Swahili, and must be submitted by March 22nd, 2014.

PDFs are attached with the official call for nominations announcement in English, French, Portuguese, Swahili and Arabic.

Thank you for your support and for your nominations!

Best regards,

Marcos Montoiro

Posted in Desertification, land management

Call for Members of Science-Policy Interface (UNCCD)

Notification: Call for Members of Science-Policy Interface
The UNCCD secretariat’s call for scientists to apply for membership in the
newly established Science-Policy Interface has been launched and will close
Sunday, 6 April 2014, 23:59 CET. The terms of reference of the SPI and
other relevant information and documents are available at:


Notification: Call for observers of Science-Policy Interface  (IO/UN
The UNCCD secretariat’s is now inviting International organizations and
United Nations to apply for membership as observers in the Science-Policy
Interface that has been launched and will close Sunday, 6 April 2014,
23:59 CET. The terms of reference of the SPI  are available at:

Lawrencia Eposi
Knowledge Management, Science & Technology (KMST)
United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification
UN Campus, Platz der Vereinten Nationen 1
53113 Bonn, Germany
Website: http://www.unccd.int

Posted in Desertification, UNCCD

Policy conference “Research on Responses to Land Degradation and Desertification” (LEDDRA)

We would like to draw your attention to an exciting upcoming conference on land degradation, taking place in Berlin on March 17-18. Registration is open until the 7th of March!  

The full programme and more information are provided below.

We hope to see you there!
All the best,
Ruta Landgrebe

Dear colleagues,

It is our pleasure to invite you to the policy conference “Research on Responses to Land Degradation and Desertification”, which will take place in Berlin on 17-18 March 2014.

Land degradation is becoming a major concern in Europe and at the global level, negatively affecting soil productivity, the provision of ecosystem services, and people’s livelihoods. The most common land degradation problems include soil erosion, water stress, ecosystem fragmentation, biodiversity decline, and land desertification. Land degradation caused by unsustainable land use practices may be influenced by socio-economic factors, leading land users to make land management decisions which contribute to rather than alleviate desertification. Various types of actions are being taken to respond to land and ecosystem degradation and desertification (LEDD), seeking to address both land and ecosystem-related problems and a range of socio-economic concerns.
The 2014 LEDDRA Policy Conference marks a milestone in the LEDDRA project research and also closes this research project. The primary aim of the Policy Conference is to present selected, policy-related, project findings and to discuss associated policy recommendations, as well as to develop new critical thinking to support future initiatives addressing LEDD.
The conference brings together LEDDRA researchers, policy makers from international, EU organisations, and Member States, as well as stakeholder groups and NGOs. The discussion and questions raised by the presentations and dialogue at the conference will contribute to the ongoing efforts to combat land degradation and desertification at the international, European, and national levels.
Conference admission is free of charge. To register for this conference, please complete the online registration form by 07 March 2014.
Venue and accommodation
The policy conference will take place at the Hotel Aquino, Tagungszentrum Katholische Akademie, Hannoversche Straße 5b, 10115 Berlin Mitte, Germany

Travel and accommodation arrangements
We kindly ask you to organise your own travel and hotel arrangements. Please visit the conference website for block booking information.

In case you require any assistance on participation, registration, programme and other organisational matters, please contact the organising team at Leddra-conference@ecologic.eu
More information on the LEDDRA project is available at http://leddra.aegean.gr/index.htm

Thank you for forwarding this email within your institution.

We look forward to welcoming you in Berlin.

Best regards,
Ruta Landgrebe on behalf of the LEDDRA consortium

Posted in Desertification, land / land degradation

Africa Environment Day and Food Security Action (Google / UNEP)

Read at : Google Alerts – desertification


Africa Aims to Boost Food Security Action on Occasion of Africa Environment Day and Wangari Maathai Day

African leaders, civil society and youth groups today mark Africa Environment Day, which seeks to accelerate action on the numerous pressing environmental challenges facing the continent.

Maseru, in the Kingdom of Lesotho, is the regional host of the 12th annual celebration, which is focused on the theme Combating Desertification in Africa: Enhancing Agricultural Productivity and Food Security.

In the Kenyan capital Nairobi, over 200 young people and high-level experts will convene to review key environmental issues impacting Africa, including illegal wildlife crime, forest conservation and food security.

The event which dovetails with Wangari Maathai Day, a celebration of the life and work of the Green Belt Movement founder is organized by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), the Government of Kenya and the Green Belt Movement.


Posted in Uncategorized

Reversing desertification (Google / Down to Earth)

Read at : Google alerts – desertification


How do we reverse desertification?

Desertification is yet another consequence of climate change that takes a great toll on biodiversity, natural resources and, ultimately, the lives of people who inhabit drylands. Along with measures to curb and compensate it, there are several solutions for bringing life back to arid lands. It is called “reversing desertification”, and it has a great deal to do with permaculture.

The anthropogenic causes of desertification

But first, let’s briefly define the concept of desertification, and the main challenges it poses. According to the Princeton University Dictionary, desertification is “the process of fertile land transforming into desert typically as a result of deforestation, drought or improper/inappropriate agriculture.” There are thus various causes, but the bulk of them are human-induced. For example, tillage for agriculture, overgrazing, and deforestation for fuel or construction materials. However, vegetation loss is the primary cause of desertification, as plants play a major part in retaining water and enriching the soil.

Desertification and aridification cause a string of negative consequences. They are a major threat to biodiversity, which in turn depletes the natural resources of populations living in drylands. Access to water and the ability to farm are seriously impaired, and the soil becomes permanently impoverished. As Wikipedia’s notice on desertification says, “unprotected, dry soil surfaces blow away with the wind or are washed away by flash floods, leaving infertile lower soil layers that bake in the sun and become an unproductive hardpan.”


Posted in Desertification, drought

The Great Green Wall of the Sahel, still in the planning stages (Foodtank)

Read at :


The Great Green Wall of Africa: Greening the Sahel to Turn Back the Tide of Desertification

The Great Green Wall of the Sahel, still in the planning stages, will span Africa from Senegal to Djibouti in order to reverse desertification of the Sahel eco-system, and will look much like this image of a local re-forestation initiative in Chad. (jonikarjalainen)

The Great Green Wall is an initiative designed to stop the desertification of the semi-arid Sahel region in Africa. The essential idea is to plant a giant greenbelt of trees that would span Africa from Senegal to Djibouti. It also includes a number of other environmental, economic, and food security development initiatives aimed at addressing challenges resulting from desertification of the Sahel.

According to the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), desertification “refers to land degradation in arid, semi-arid and sub-humid areas resulting from factors such as human pressure on fragile eco-systems, deforestation and climate change.” Desertification has had and could continue to have a significant negative impact on the rural livelihoods and food security of Sahelian Africans. According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, rainfall could decrease by up to 25 percent in North Africa by the end of the 21st century and according to Isaac Held, a researcher at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, “the wet will get wetter and the dry will get dryer.”

The Great Green Wall for the Sahara and Sahel Initiative was approved in 2007 by the African Union and a harmonized regional strategy was established in 2012 by African governments and heads of state. Partnerships continue to be developed and established between stakeholders and action plans and knowledge management systems are being developed for each participating nation.


Posted in Desertification, Great Green Wall (GGW)

The use of “gabions” or simple rock walls to slow down the flow of flood water (Treehugger)s

Read at :


How to reverse desertification. With rocks.

by Sami Grover

From a fanciful Sahara forest concept to the planting of trees to stop the encroachment of desert, we’ve seen plenty of ideas for turning arid, hostile environments into productive ecosystems.

The work of permaculture expert Geoff Lawton is often quoted in this regard. From exploring existing, 2000-year-old food forests to greening the deserts of Jordan, he’s been talking about and teaching dry land permaculture concepts for many years.

His latest video is another offering on this topic, looking at the use of “gabions” or simple rock walls as a means to slow down the flow of flood waters, encourage the build up of silt and organic matter, and begin the process of natural regeneration.

Here’s the teaser (the full video is available for free via Geoff Lawton’s website, but you’ll need to sign up to view it):


Posted in Desertification, erosion, floods