TERN and UN versus desertification


Photo credit: TERN

UN taps into TERN expertise to help combat global desertification

In yet another example of the international reach by Australia’s ecosystem science community, TERN experts will join CSIRO to assist the UN Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) in the development of methodologies and “Good Practice Guidance” for an indicator of the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) indicators help quantify global and national progress towards achieving each of the 17 global development goals—in this case Goal 15: Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, and halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss.

The specific SDG indicator that TERN and CSIRO will be contributing to is the “Proportion of land that is degraded over total land area” (indicator 15.3.1). UNCCD will tap into CSIRO and TERN AusCover’s remote sensing expertise, to come up with practical ways to monitor three, more quantitative sub-indicators at national to global scales, and derive the spatial extent and percentage of land that’s degraded. These sub-indicators are:  1) land cover and land cover change, 2) land productivity, and 3) carbon stocks, above and below ground.

The new collaboration is yet another example of TERN’s growing international partnerships that facilitate world leading joint research, shared infrastructure and access to data.

Moreover, the project’s timing is apt as it comes just days after our Chief Scientist opened consultations on Australia’s future research infrastructure priorities following the release of the National Research Infrastructure Capability Issues Paper.

Read the full article: TERN


Published by

Willem Van Cotthem

Honorary Professor of Botany, University of Ghent (Belgium). Scientific Consultant for Desertification and Sustainable Development.