Prevention and restoration actions to combat desertification

TitlePrevention and restoration actions to combat desertification
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2012
AuthorsRojo, L, Bautista S, Orr BJ, Vallejo VR, Cortina J, Derak M
Date Published07/2012

Prevention and restoration actions to combat desertification: an integrated assessment (PRACTICE) is a support action of the European Commission Seventh Framework Programme for Research and Technological Development, which is being developed during three years since September 2009. It gathers scientists and stakeholders from several desertification affected regions of the world, in order to learn from ongoing experiences on combating desertification, such as afforestation, improving pastures, controlled grazing, watershed management, and sustainable agricultural practices. The central goal of PRACTICE is to link science to society in order to share and transfer evaluation methods and practices to combat desertification. To pursue this goal, PRACTICE first aims to develop and implement an integrated evaluation protocol to assess the effectiveness of prevention and restoration practices, applicable worldwide. The evaluation protocol of PRACTICE considers the mutual interactions between human and environment. The assessment protocol also represents an integrated approach because it considers simultaneously both, biophysical and socio-economic attributes. The protocol is based on (1) key common indicators that represent overall ecosystem and human-environmental system functioning, (2) site-specific indicators identified by local stakeholders that are relevant to the objectives and the particular context conditions, and (3) stakeholder perspectives. Indicators are selected in the framework of ecosystem services developed by the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment (MEA), focusing on human well-being and trying to be consistent with the desertification impact indicators selected by the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) and with recommendations by Convention on Biological Biodiversity (CBD) and United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). Multi-criteria decision models will be used for integrating the information provided by the various biophysical and socio-economic indicators and for integrating the stakeholder perspectives. This paper presents the status of the project in June 2011 on the occasion of the seminar. “ Policies, programmes and projects to combat desertification. How to evaluate them?”