Future Directions

A review of international activities relating to land degradation leads to the conclusion that there is a need for international cooperation for (1) developing standardized methods and guidelines for dryland degradation assessment and monitoring; (2) developing a baseline map of dryland land degradation at subregional scale; (3) global assessment of dryland degradation; (4) detailed assessment of land degradation at national level, focusing on areas at greatest risk ("hot spots") and areas where degradation has been successfully reversed ("bright spots"); (5) analysis of the effects of land degradation areas at risk; (6) developing best practices for the control and prevention of land degradation; (7) communicating and exchanging land degradation information and promoting its use in decision-making; and (8) strengthening early warning systems to generate seasonal to inter-annual climatic predictions to improve effectiveness of programs that aim to mitigate effects of droughts and food shortages on local population.

Some of these issues are being addressed through an international Dryland Degradation Assessment project funded by the Global Environment

Facility as a cooperative activity between FAO, CCD, UNEP, and many other international and national partners (www.fao.org).

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