Sustainability Research Institute

Desertification Mitigation and Remediation of Land (DESIRE)

Stakeholder groups in discussion
Indicator data sets

Sponsor: EU FP6 Integrated project

Funding: €9 million of which €300k in Leeds

Duration: 1 February 2007 - 21 January 2011

Involved staff: Luuk Fleskens, Doan Nainggolan, Lindsay Stringer, Brian Irvine (School of Geography), Mike Kirkby (School of Geography); ex-staff: Mark Reed (PI), Klaus Hubacek, Mette Termansen.

DESIRE aims at developing strategies to combat land degradation in the Mediterranean region and other dry areas around the world. Practical and feasible conservation measures are designed with stakeholder groups in 18 areas around the globe that are affected by drought, erosion, floods and deterioration of natural vegetation. The DESIRE project will establish promising alternative land use and management conservation strategies based on a close participation of scientists with stakeholder groups in degradation and desertification hotspots around the world, employing a bottom-up approach, as favoured by UNCCD:

  1. degradation and desertification hotspots and stakeholder groups will be identified around the Mediterranean and 6 other countries facing similar environmental problems;
  2. desertification indicators will be constructed to organize socio-economic and geo-information data and tools for active dissemination;
  3. new and existing conservation strategies will be defined with stakeholders;
  4. these strategies will be implemented in the field, and monitored and modelled to quantify their effectiveness at various scales;
  5. the results will be extrapolated using indicator sets, geoinformation data, and integrated modelling systems combining socio-economic data.

Websites: and (harmonised information system)

Partners: Alterra (Netherlands, co-ordinator); Catholic University of Leuven (Belgium); University of Leeds (United Kingdom); University of Wales Swansea (United Kingdom); Centre for Development and Environment; University Bern (Switzerland); Estacion Experimental de Zonas Aridas (Spain); University of Aveiro (Portugal); CNR Research Institute for Hydrogeological Protection (Italy); Agricultural University of Athens (Greece); Eskisehir Osmangazi University (Turkey); University of Mohamed V, Chair UNESCO-GN (Morocco); Institut des Regions Arides (Tunisia); Institut for Soil and Water Conservation (China); Wageningen University (Netherlands); Democritus University of Thrace (Greece); BothEnds (Netherlands); ISRIC (Netherlands); Escola Superior Agrária de Coimbra (Portugal); CARI (France); University of Botswana (Botswana); ITC (Netherlands); IRD (France); MEDES (Italy); MSUEE (Russia).