Designing an Integrated Global Monitoring System for Drylands

Publication Type  Conference Proceedings
Authors  Verstraete, M. M.; Smith, M.S.; Scholes, R. J.
Year  2009
Conference Location  Stresa, Italy
Conference Name  International Symposium on Remote Sensing of Environment (ISRSE)

Drylands occupy between 30 and 40% of the world's land surface, and host between 1 and 2 billion people, depending on how they are delimited. The development of drylands is hampered by a number of factors including severe natural and social environment constraints, but these regions also offer unique features and opportunities. The recent Drylands Development Paradigm (DDP) provides an intellectual context to re-think how humanity interacts with these harsh and fragile environments. Progress in understanding the key processes, in selecting appropriate policies and actions, as well as in evaluating their effectiveness has hitherto been hampered by the lack of a systematic, comprehensive, integrated observing system to document the state and evolution of drylands. This paper outlines some of the requirements for a Global Drylands Observing System (GDOS) and suggests how it could complement existing efforts in the fields of climate change and environmental degradation.

Keywords  Drylands; Global Observing Systems; DDP; UNCCD; GCOS; GEO BON; desertification; remote sensing
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