Data management in combating desertification
The UNCCD Library & Data Centre is responsible for archiving all available information on desertification. It serves to distribute data on global desertification and land degradation processes.
Scientific data management is fundamental to combating desertification. Quality and consistent long-term data availability enhances scientific understanding of the Convention and its impact on the global processes which result in land degradation. The library ensures quality and consistency by taking a methodical, interdisciplinary, global, and team-based approach to data management.
The work of the UNCCD Library & Data Centre is to improve access and the exchange of data and information in combating desertification through areas such as land resources management and agricultural science, while strongly emphasising soil conservation strategies and planning. The strategic objective of the library is to integrate and harmonize standards, develop tools and procedures for the efficient and effective management and dissemination of high-quality technical information, including relevant and reliable statistics, texts, maps, and multimedia resources related to the impacts caused by desertification.
Although scientists have long recognized the significance of the impact of desertification, collecting data from the arid, semi-arid and dry sub-humid regions of the globe has proven difficult, if not impossible in some cases. The few existing data sets on the extent of desertification, starting with 19th-century explorations, are of short duration and are geographically dispersed, and subject to questionable extrapolation.
Current research on desertification-climate-biodiversity synergy interactions relies greatly on satellite data sets to monitor a wide variety of parameters such as surface albedo and vegetation coverage.