This project foresaw extensive collaboration with local stakeholders in desertification affected regions in order to identify: impact indicators relating to perceptions of land function; driving force and pressure indicators relating to decision making; and response indicators relating to land management measures taken to combat desertification. A conceptual and database framework was developed for these indicators as well as for other indicators identified in the project. Composite indicators were developed combining indicators identified by the stakeholders with bio-physical and socio-economic state indicators already developed for Mediterranean Europe. Together they formed an environmentally sensitive area identification system, for use at the sub-national scale. The indicators of different scale and type were combined into a desertification indicator system for Mediterranean Europe. A close collaboration with both local stakeholders and the National Committees was set up to test the application of the indicator system to new regions and to validate the local identification of high risk areas and the implications of local scenario analyses. Finally, the experiences gained in both the testing and validation were formulated into guidelines for the UNCCD on the development and use of indicators to manage desertification.

Title and acronym: Combating Desertification in Mediterranean Europe: Linking Science with Stakeholders - DESERTLINKS

Dates: from December 2001 to November 2004

Location: Alentejo (Portugal), Guadalentín (Spain), Agri (Italy) and Lesvos (Greece)

Partnership: King's College London-UK, University of Basilicata-Italy, EC Environmental Change- The Netherlands, University of Leeds-UK, Agricultural University of Athens-Greece, University of Murcia-Spain, Direccion General de Conservacion de la Naturaleza-Spain, Universidade Nova de Lisboa-Portugal, EC-JRC-Italy.

Source of Funding: European Commission - Framework Programme 5

Role of NRD: partner