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DESIRE Harmonised Information System: providing local solutions to global sustainable land management problems

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This website brings together descriptions and explanations of the project's »research themes, their application in the »study sites and the »key messages and practical guidlines for responsible land use that have been synthesised from the results for all those interested in combating desertification locally, nationally and internationally.

Creeping desertification around the world affects more than 250 million people.
The DESIRE research project worked to fight the phenomenon with new conservation strategies.

Funded under the EU's Sixth Framework Programme, the international DESIRE project brought together 28 research institutes, non-governmental organisations and policy-makers from around the world. The aim of the project was to come up with alternative strategies for the use and protection of these vulnerable areas. 

The researchers identified 17 study sites from southern Europe, southern America, Africa, Russia and China, covering a wide range of problems from soil erosion by wind or water, to salinisation and droughts or flash floods. These study sites were the global laboratory for researchers to apply both tested conservation techniques and remediation measures, and find new and innovative approaches to combat desertification.

The project began by making an inventory of local knowledge. Working with local residents, the scientists studied the methods and techniques used to prevent land degradation in that region and combined them with new scientific insights. The researchers hoped that this close collaboration of scientists with local stakeholder groups would lead to acceptable and feasible conservation techniques.