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FP6

DESERTSTOP — Result In Brief

Project ID: 511107
Funded under: FP6-SUSTDEV
Country: Germany

Early warning of potential ‘desertification’

Climate change and human activities have contributed to a drastic reduction in Earth’s fertile land. EU-funded researchers brought together scientists to discuss state-of-the-art early warning systems signalling potential irreversible loss of arable land.
Early warning of potential ‘desertification’
According to the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), desertification – an irreversible degradation of land affecting its productivity – already affects one fourth of all land surface on the Earth. Twenty-four billion tonnes of fertile soil have disappeared over the last 20 years.

As a result of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD), the EU has made research and programmes directed at combating desertification an important priority resulting in a number of directives, initiatives and dedicated research projects.

European scientists wishing to bring the results of all this activity together in one dedicated conference focused on early warning systems initiated the Desertstop project.

Desertstop organised and executed the ‘1st International Conference on Remote Sensing and Geoinformation Processing in the Assessment and Monitoring of Land Degradation and Desertification’.

The conference enabled renowned experts in the fields of remote sensing and geoinformation processing to present recent advances related to desertification/land degradation.

Organisers strove to enhance participation of young scientists and scientists in countries directly affected by desertification.

The ability to identify early signs of desertification and thus prevent the irreversible loss of fertile land would have invaluable impact on developing countries faced with shortages of arable land for crops and grazing.

Desertstop thus advanced EU goals of sustainable development as well as of the UNCCD related to combating desertification.

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