A message from DesertNet International



The University of Sassari is glad to invite you to the Sardinia Summer School Climate change and land degradation neutrality: modelling tools and integrated approaches, which will be held in Nuoro, Sardinia, Italy, on 17-21 July 2017.

The summer school, organised in partnership with DesertNet International, is designed to address the concept of “Land degradation neutrality” (LDN), proposed by the UNCCD as a central objective in the context of the sustainable development goals, by integrating the application of tools for quantitative analysis (mathematical models) with discussion on case studies, to improve the participants’ ability to critically understand the complex interactions between biophysical and social processes that characterize sustainable development in a context of climate change.

The School is targeted to graduates, doctoral and post-doctoral students in environmental disciplines, agronomy, soil science, applied biology, natural resource management, landscape planning, environmental sciences from all over the world.

The number of participants is limited to 30 and the Summer School will be activated from a minimum number of 12 applicants.

Please distribute the attached flyer of the event containing information about lecturers, activities, fees, benefits, accomodation and application form.

Kind Regards

Pier Paolo Roggero, Desertification Research Centre, University of Sassari, School Director
Gian Franco Capra, Department of Architecture, Design and Urban Planning, School Secretariat

Upcoming events


DesertNet International Newsletter n. 3/2015

Important upcoming events

List of links to next meetings regarding desertification, water conservation and land degradation.


5‐6 Dec

Paris, France

28‐29 Dec

Colombo, Sri Lanka


17–20 Jan

International Remote Sensing Conference ‐ Saudi Arabia


Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

13‐15 Mar

RDC 2016 ‐ Rural Development Conference


Bangkok, Thailand

14‐17 Mar

4th World Congress of Biosphere Reserves

http://www.unesco.org/new/fileadmin/MULTIMEDIA/HQ/SC/pdf/First_Ann ouncement_WCBR2016_en.pdf

Lima, Peru

8‐12 May

The International Society for Ecological Modelling Global Conference


Towson University, MD, USA

31 May –2 Jun

International Conference on Conservation Agriculture and Sustainable Land Use

Budapest, Hungary

1–4 Jun

2nd EWaS International Conference: Efficient & Sustainable Water Systems Management toward Worth Living Development


Chania, Greece

10–14 Jul

8th International Congress on Environmental Modelling and Software (iEMSs 2016)


Toulouse, France

13–15 Jul

22nd International Sustainable Development Research Society Conference http://www.isdrsconference.org/

Lisbon, Portugal

22–26 Aug

10th European Conference on Ecological Restoration Best Practice in Restoration

Freising, Germany

29 Aug – 1 Sep

Montpellier, France

12–15 Sep

8th International Conference on Scour and Erosion


Oxford, United Kingdom

Information provided by: DNI Bureau

Consortium of Science and Knowledge Networks on Sustainable Land Management (ICoN SLM)


DesertNet International Newsletter n. 3/2015

Message from Wafa Essahli 

Chair of DesertNet International

Dear members of DesertNet International,

The major event of recent months was the participation of DesertNet International at the twelfth Conference of the Parties of the UNCCD (CoP12) that was held in Ankara, Turkey from 12th to 23rd October 2015 through the side event organised by the newly created International Consortium of Science and Knowledge Networks on Sustainable Land Management (ICoN SLM).

ICoN SLM is a network of networks founded by DNI, WOCAT and GNDRI. Since its launch in Windhoek on September 2013 during UNCCD CoP11, DNI has been very active in its implementation process.

The side event in Ankara on:

Policy‐oriented research to achieve land degradation neutrality: ICoN SLM‘s contributions to COP 12

aimed at discussing the policy oriented research needs proposed by ICoN SLM and to identify ways to operationalise LDN and develop a process for concrete interactions between ICoN SLM and the UNCCD’s Science Policy Interface (SPI).

The side event saw the active participation of many representatives of the Parties who provided precious feedback on how ICoN SLM could interact between the scientific community on one side and the SPI of the UNCCD on the other to achieve the upscaling of SLM strategies at Government level.

Certainly, ICoN SLM gives DNI a great opportunity to strengthen its activities and improve its impact on the UNCCD’s related knowledge and science development. DNI’s members present in Ankara also discussed the network’s activities and sought to identify all the opportunities offered by their projects to initiate actions that can mobilize members and increase the visibility of our network.

Wafa Essahli

DNI and ICoN SLM Chair

The CASCADE Project


Message of DesertNet International,


Please find attached the August newsletter of the CASCADE project. More details about the Project can be found on the website http://www.cascade-project.eu/ and information system http://www.cascadis-project.eu/


Reporting on our recent

Plenary meeting in Chania, Crete

Knowledge needed to understand and predict thresholds for catastrophic shifts in dryland ecosystems of Europe is still limited. The challenge is to improve the understanding of the underlying processes in soil-water-plant systems, as well as of socio-economic drivers and land use management. We are establishing what might move dryland ecosystems towards thresholds, to be able to define threshold values for tipping points and to find ways to prevent such shifts from occurring.

When tipping points are likely to be approached, urgent action is needed to avoid catastrophic shifts in the dryland ecosystem. We aim to create decision-making tools to find suitable management options that help prevent shifts and promote sustainable land management. We hope that these tools, along with predictions for tipping points, can be used by policymakers and land users for more sustainable management of drylands worldwide.

In the CASCADE Project, researchers are carrying out experiments in study sites in parts of dryland Portugal, Spain, Italy, Crete and Cyprus to find a better understanding of discontinuous shifts, or tipping points, in ecosystems.


Trees are man’s best friend

Photo credit: AAAS


Forests in the U.S. Southwest are showing the stress of drought.

Drought is preventing trees from fighting climate change


In terms of curbing climate change, trees are man’s best friend. As they grow, they pull carbon dioxide out of the air and convert it into sugars that add bulk to their trunks. This carbon storage ability is so well-known it has spurred an international tree-planting movement to slow global warming.

But drought could compromise the ability of trees to protect us from climate change, according to a new study. Scientists have shown that drought slows tree growth for many years beyond the initial dry spells, creating what researchers call a “drought legacy.” And scientists trying to predict climate change “could be really missing the boat,” if they are not including the effects in their computer models, says Melinda Smith, a community ecologist at Colorado State University, Fort Collins, who was not involved with the work.

To determine the true toll of droughts, Princeton University ecophysiologist William Anderegg and colleagues turned to the International Tree-Ring Data Bank, which stores 100 years or more of tree-ring data from more than 1500 nontropical areas of the world. In these temperate zones, trees lay down new trunk each summer but go dormant in winter, creating a pattern of rings that track the intensity of annual growth. The broader the area between two rings, the more productive the tree and the more carbon it stores.

Examining tree-ring data from Europe, North America, and parts of Asia between 1940 and 2008 (a time with reliable weather data), researchers discovered that, in trees with at least 25 years’ worth of rings, these layers were thinner than usual not just in years of droughts, but on average for 3 or 4 years afterward. Scientists had known droughts could damage tree tissues, leaving a drought legacy, but they didn’t know how long the legacy lasts. As they report online today in Science, trees growing in drier climates, such as the U.S. Southwest, fared the worst.

Read the full article: SCIENCE MAG.

DesertNet International e-Forum (DNI)

Desertif’Action 2015 launched an e-forum dedicated to discussions on issues of land degradation and climate change. The objective of the e-forum is to generate shared views between international development stakeholders: NGO, local and institutional communities and allows southern partners who cannot travel to Montpellier in June to give their opinion.

The e-Forum is accessible, from 7 to 30 April 2015, in English, French and Spanish at http://www.desertif-actions.fr/forum/index.php


Désertif’actions 2015 a lancé son e-Forum dédié aux discussions concernant les questions de dégradation des terres et de changement climatique. L’objectif de l’e-forum est de produire des éléments partagés entre les acteurs du développement international : ONG, collectivités locales et institutionnels. Il permet entre autre aux partenaires du sud ne pouvant se déplacer en juin à Montpellier de faire entendre leur voix.

Le e-Forum est accessible, du 7 au 30 Avril 2015, en Anglais, Français et Espagnol à l’adresse : http://www.desertif-actions.fr/forum/index.php




The DNI Bureau

DLDD, SLM and LDN at the 3rd UNCCD Scientific Conference

Photo credit: Google

Land Management Related Projects (IECN Namibia)

A message from DesertNet International (DNI)

Next week the 3rd UNCCD scientific conference will start in Cancun, Mexico (http://3sc.unccd.int/).

On this occasion the consortium composed by DNI, WOCAT and GNDRI will host a side event to present the science-policy initiative to create a to provide independent science and knowledge on DLDD and sustainable land management (SLM), in order to contribute towards the achievement of land degradation neutrality (LDN). Enclosed please find the program and the policy brief for your information.

The side event will be held on 10th March from 1 to 3 pm in Meeting Room 09.  We will welcome the participation of all DNI members in Cancun as well as other colleagues and experts attending the 3rd UNCCD Scientific Conference.

With very kind regards, The DNI Bureau

Flyer Brief

UNCCD, deadline extended for the call for expressions of interest on best practices (DNI / UNCCD / FCMI)

A message from DNI

The call for expressions of interest is open for submission until 31 January 2013.

Call for expressions of interest – Best Practice databases – Extended deadline

The UNCCD secretariat is looking for potentially interested and technically equipped agencies, institutions and organizations which could support the CRIC in its tasks of compiling, reviewing and disseminating best practices, with regard to “sustainable land management technologies, including adaptation”; or “funding and resource mobilization”.

Any organization, whether national or international, governmental or non-governmental, which has a legal personality and which maintains publicly accessible databases relating to the two themes of best practices is eligible to participate.

The call for expression of interest is attached; more detailed information could be found on the UNCCD website at: http://www.unccd.int/en/programmes/Reporting-review-and-assessment/Pages/Identification-of-primary-databases-for-UNCCD-best-practices.aspx.

We would also appreciate if this call could be forwarded to potentially interested organizations and published in other appropriate ways, in order to rely on a solid pool of competences in support to the CRIC work on best practices and ensure access to data and information to the widest audience possible.

Facilitation and Monitoring of Implementation (FCMI) Unit
UNCCD Secretariat
53113 Bonn, Germany

Feeding Knowledge (DNI)

Read at : DesertNet International

FEEDING KNOWLEDGE Short project description

Dear all,

we are pleased to announce you that we are involved in a new interesting project entitled “Feeding Knowledge”.

The Project has been developed in the frame of the 2015 Milan Universal Exposition, whose theme is: Feeding the Planet, Energy for Life.

“Feeding Knowledge” is focusing on knowledge development and sharing as the main tools to identify  effective and inclusive solutions for food security. Thematic priorities of the project are:

1) Sustainable natural resources management

2) Quantitative and qualitative enhancement of crop growing products

3) Socio-economic dynamics and global Markets

4) Sustainable development of small rural communities in marginal areas

5) Food consumption patterns: diet, environment, society, economy and health

Among its first activities, “Feeding Knowledge” is organizing a cycle of free open webinars.


Economic assessment of desertification (UNCCD / DNI)

Read at :


on the

Economic assessment of desertification, sustainable land management and resilience of arid, semi-arid and dry sub-humid areas

The call for contributions for the UNCCD 2nd Scientific Conference is now open. Abstracts can be submitted for oral or poster presentations, special sessions or workshops until the 31 August 2012.
What is the focus of the UNCCD 2nd Scientific Conference?

There is a widespread consensus that the pressing issues of Desertification, Land Degradation and Drought (DLDD) are not yet properly included and addressed in today’s political and private sector agendas on global, national and local levels and that it is therefore of vital importance to raise awareness for the negative impacts but also to address opportunities that decisions regarding land management and ecosystems have.

The UNCCD 2nd Scientific Conference therefore aims to gather a broad range of stakeholders – academics, policy makers, private sector and civil society actors alike – to approach DLDD from an economic and holistic point of view.

The main goals of the conference are to improve current methods and practices for the valuation of sustainable land management, ecosystem services, and socio-economic benefits thereof to be able to compare the cost of inaction versus the cost of action; and to attain international recognition for the urgent need to increase investments in sustainable land management and soil productivity; to stress the economic and social benefits of preventive measures as opposed to merely reactive ones; and to develop a tool box for policy makers to better address current DLDD trends.

he conference aims to provide guidance to governments and non-governmental actors alike, on why they should and how they can, together, reduce the impacts and revert current trends of DLDD, and support affected countries and communities to improve land management practices and increase resilience.

Envisaged Conference Outcomes

The UNCCD 2nd Scientific Conference will compile the current state of knowledge based on the analysis of peer reviewed and published literature, findings from case studies conducted in various geographical regions and on evidence-based, scientific discussions taking place at the conference itself in order to produce science based recommendations for policy makers. These recommendations will be submitted to the COP for its consideration. One of the main outcomes of the conference will be a State of the Art Report, based on two White Papers currently in preparation for the conference. The Call for Abstracts shall encourage the many stakeholders to substantially contribute to the final outcomes of the conference and the accepted papers and will be considered as additional input for the finalization of the State of the Art Report and the Recommendations.

Conference Theme

The specific thematic focus of the UNCCD 2nd Scientific Conference is put on the “Economic assessment of desertification, sustainable land management and resilience of arid, semi-arid and dry sub-humid areas”, providing an assessment of the state-of-the-art knowledge on the economics of desertification, sustainable land management and resilience.

The topical framework for the call for abstracts is kept broader than the overall conference topic to ensure that all aspects of DLDD receive the necessary scientific attention. The submission of abstracts presenting the findings of case studies from the various geographic regions is especially encouraged. The following key and sub-topics are suggested to be addressed:


unccd_call for abstracts e-doc

Scientists trying to unlock the secrets of the world’s deserts (You Tube)

Video seen at :


Survivors in the Sand

Survivors in the Sand tracks international scientists trying to unlock the secrets of the world’s deserts. This hour-long documentary, developed for prime-time national television, also looks at those who choose to live in the desert, these resilient people struggle to earn a living and sustain the fragile, arid land they call home.

Purchase DVD copies of this series at: http://mediaproductions.nmsu.edu/videos.html#anchor_37814

DNI News

July 22, 2011 : Message to the DesertNet International Members,

“Upon request of the CST Secretariat, we are herewith providing you with weblinks (see below) so that you can participate in an e-survey on the UNCCD assessment on how to organize international, interdisciplinary scientific advise was posted yesterday on the UNCCD website.

English: https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/KDLWLBS

French: https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/T2T38WF

Spanish: https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/M7L6B3K

For further reading:

The UNCCD e-survey addresses an issue, which was also addressed in an international and scientifically led e.forum, launched in early 2010 by DNI and UNU-INWEH, on how to improve the use of science by policy makers and the UNCCD. Two reports outline the results of the DNI/UNU-INWEH e.forum. Both reports are downloadable at:


and at


DNI Bureau


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