Biotech Updates

Desertification and Climate Change

October 9, 2009

Science-based methods to monitor and assess land degradation and a holistic approach focused on sustainable land management are needed to prevent desertification and to deal with climate change. This was raised during the Ninth Conference of the Parties (COP9) to the United Nations Convention on Combating Desertification (UNCCD) held on September 21 to October 2, 2009 in Buenos Aires, Argentina. The conference Understanding Desertification and Land Degradation Trends was organized by the Dryland Science for Development Consortium, in collaboration with the UNCCD Secretariat and its Committee on Science and Technology.

"We must help dryland populations cope with drought and curb land degradation now, if they are to have any hope of adapting to climate change in the coming decades," said Mahmoud Solh, director general of the International Center for Agricultural Research in the Dry Lands (ICARDA).

Eleven recommendations from the conference outline a "rigorous scientific framework for monitoring and assessment," which would tackle both social and ecological dimensions of desertification/land degradation and drought .

More information on the conference is available at