German Competence Network For Research To Combat Desertification

What is Desert¯Net ?

The complex interactions in desertification research require interdiciplinary research approaches. For this task the German Competence Network for Research to Combat Desertification (DesertNet) intergrates a wide spectrum of disciplines and scientific institutes with long-term experiences in more than 40 countries. This DesertNet was founded in order to form a binding link between science and public institutions. Thus, the Desert*Net, as a network of scientists and experts, can provide rational data outputs, can give adivice on scientific methods and projects and can promote cooperation between and to institutions in Germany working in various fields of desertification research.


Desert*Net is a representation of the German scientific society in unviersities and research institutes which have adopted the following declaration:

Declaration of the German Network for Research to Combat Desertification

Combating desertification and mitigating the effects of drought is a rising challenge which importance has not been sufficiently recognised in a context of global environmental change. We, an interdisciplinary group of scientists in basic and applied research on desertification intend to

Desertification - a global problem

The UN Convention to Combat Desertification defines desertification as:

"the degradation of the land in arid, semi-arid and sub-humid dry areas caused by various factors, including climatic changes and human activities".

Dryland ecosystems are very vulnerable to over-exploitation and inappropriate land-use practices and climatic changes. Land degradation leads to a drastic decrease in soil fertility, water availability, net primary production, plant cover and biodiversity. Various aspects are involved in the initialisation and acceleration of desertification:

Desertification is a problem of global dimension

More than 250 million people in over 110 countries are directly affected by desertification, and about one billion are at risks.

Research to Combat Desertification

Sustainable resources management is the basis to combat desertification. Research on natural processes in dryland ecosystems, and the causes and impacts of inappropriate land-use on the ecosystems as well as on the social and economic situation of people are important to develop new strategies. These complex interactions require interdisciplinary research approaches. For this task the German Competence Network on Research to Combat Desertification integrates a wide spectrum of disciplines and scientific institutions with long-term experiences in more than 40 countries.

DesertNet Activities

2nd Desert Net Metting in Bonn

The 2nd DesertNet meeting took place at the Gustav-Stresemann-Institute (GSI) in Bonn from 31.01.02 to 02.02.02.

Desert Net presentation at COP 4 (Bonn) and COP 5 (Geneve)

The DesertNet was firmly established at COP 4 in Bonn the with a rotational poster presentation that offered visitors detailed information on the methodology and results of ongoing research on desertification. The presentation was organised in close cooperation with over 20 research institutions. The well frequented DesertNet presentation was also supplied with relevant new publications and publication lists on desertification issues. At the stall, the participating research institutions also provided further information and contact addresses in flyers and brochures. The DesertNet members were also actively involved in several side events.

EXPO 2000 in Hannover

Scientific projects to combat desertification were presented on the World Exhibition EXPO 2000 in Hannover (Germany) from 2nd July until 31st October 2000 on the UNCCD pavillion as part of the common presentation of CILSS (Comité Permanent Inter-États de Lutte contre la Sécheresse au Sahel). The exhibition was located in the Africa Hall (Hall 12). The pavillion was realized in cooperation with UNCCD and the German Minsitry for Education and Research (BMBF). more informations....

Conferences & Meetings

Desert Net Board:




Dr. Mariam Akhtar-Schuster (speaker)

University of Hamburg Dr. Gerald Braun


DLR Köln-Porz

Prof. Dr. Siegmar-W. Breckle

University of Bielefeld

Prof. Dr. Richard Dikau University of Bonn Prof. Dr. Norbert Jürgens

University of Hamburg

Prof. Dr. Michael Kirk

University of Marburg

Dr. Christoph Martius

ZEF Bonn

Desert.Net Secretrariat: Mariam Akhtar-Schuster

Postal address:

University of Hamburg

Botanical Institute and Botanical Garden

Ohnhorststrasse 18

22609 Hamburg - Germany


Fax: +49 - (0) 40 - 42816 - 539

Phone: +49 - (0) 40 - 42816 - 533 (M. Akhtar-Schuster)

+49 - (0) 6421 28-23731 (M. Kirk)



Sustainable Land-Use in Deserts,
Springer, Heidelberg-Berlin-New York, 465 pp.

Table of Contents (PDF)

MARTIUS, C., TIESSEN, P.L.G. & VLEK, P. (eds.) (2001): Managing Organic Matter in Tropical Soils: Scope and Limitations Kluwer Academic Publishers, Dordrecht. 248 pp.

Table of Contents (PDF)


BRECKLE, S.-W. (2002): Salinity, halophytes and salt affected natural ecosystems, In: Läuchli & Lüttge, U.Salinity: Environment - Plants - Molecules, Kluwer Academic Publishers, Dordrecht. GERSTENGARBE, F.-W. & P.C. WERNER (1997): Estimation of the beginning and end of recurrent events within a climate regime. Climate Research, 11, 2, 97-107.

GERSTENGARBE, F.-W., WERNER, P.C. & K. FRAEDRICH (1999): Applying non-hierarchical cluster analysis algorithms to climate classification: some problems and their solution. Intern. J. of Climatology, 64, 3-4, p.143-150.

ISKANDARANI, M. (2000): Trinkwasserversorgung in Entwicklungsländern, in: Kunst- und Ausstellungshalle der Bundesrepublik Deutschland, Wasser, Schriftenreihe Forum, Band 9, Bonn 2000.

JELTSCH, F., WIEGAND, T. & C. WISSEL (1999): Spatial explicit computer simulation models: tools for understanding vegetation dynamics and supporting rangeland management. In: Dean WRJ, Milton SJ (eds) The Karoo: ecological patterns and processes. Cambridge University Press, pp231-238.

KIRK, M. (1998): Land tenure and land management: Lessons learnt from the past, challenges to met in the future? Advances in GeoEcology, Vol. 31:1485-91.

KNERR, B. (1998): The Impacts of Labour Migration on the Sustainability of Agricultural Development in Arid Regions. In: Clarke, C. and Noin, N. (eds.), Population and Environment in Arid Regions.

KNERR, B. (1998): Labour Migration from Developing Countries. Macro-economic Impacts and Policy Interventions. Kassel.

KNERR, B. (2000): Economic-demographic strategies in arid regions of low-income countries. In: Sustainable Land Use in Deserts, Breckle, S.-W.; M. Veste; W. Wucherer (eds.). Berlin/Heidelberg.

MARTIUS, C., TIESSEN, P.L.G. & VLEK, P. (eds.) (2001): The management of organic matter in tropical soils: what are the priorities? Nutrient Cycling in Agroecosystems 61, 1-6

STENGEL, I. (1999): Fernerkundung in Trockengebieten - Anwendungsmöglichkeiten und real existierende Grenzen. - Bayer. Akademie der Wissenschaften, Rundgespräche der Kommission für Ökologie, Bd. 17 "Fernerkundung und Ökosystemanalyse": 99-116.

WALTER, H. & S.-W. & BRECKLE (1991): Ökologie der Erde. Band 2 - Spezielle Ökologie der Tropischen und Subtropischen Zonen. -2. Aufl., UTB Große Reihe 461pp. Fischer/ Stuttgart.

WALTER, H. & S.-W. & S.-W. BRECKLE (1994): Ökologie der Erde. Band 3 Spezielle Ökologie der Gemäßigten und Arktischen Zonen Eurasiens. 2. neubearb. Aufl., UTB Große Reihe, 726 pp. Fischer/Stuttgart.

WALTER, H. & S.-W. BRECKLE, S.-W. (1999): Vegetation und Klimazonen. 7. Aufl.; Ulmer-Verlag Stuttgart, 544 pp.

WEBB,P., M. ISKANDARANI (1998): Water Insecurity and the Poor: Issues and Research Needs, ZEF - Discussion Papers On Development Policy No. 2, Center for Development Research, Bonn, October 1998, pp. 66.

WEBER, G.E. & F. JELTSCH (2000): Long-term impacts of livestock herbivory on herbaceous and woody vegetation in semiarid savannas. Basic and Applied Ecology 1: 13-23.

WERNER, P.C. & F.-W. GERSTENGARBE (1997): A proposal for the development of climate scenarios Climate Research, 8, 3, 171 - 182.

WERNER, P.C., GERSTENGARBE, F.-W. & W. EBELING (1999): Changes in probability of sequences, exit time distribution and dynamical entropie in the Potsdam temperature record, Theor. Appl. Climatol.,62,3-4, 125-132.


AKHTAR, M. (1998): Desertification in the Republic of Sudan. Some Recommendations for the Sustainable

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AKHTAR, M. (1998): Rainfall variability and desertification. -In: (Eds. Eric Servat, Denis Hughes, Jean-Marie Fritsch & Mike Hulme), Water Resources Variability in Africa during the XXth Century (Proceedings of the Abidjan ´98 Conference held at Abidjan, Côte d´Ivoire, November 1998). IAHS Publ. No. 252: 357 - 363.

AKHTAR-SCHUSTER, M., GERSTENGARBE, F.-W., KIRK, M. & P.C. WERNER (2000): Causes and Impacts of the Declining Resources in the Eastern Sahel. -In: Desertification Control Bulletin, no. 36: 42 - 49.

AKHTAR, M., GERSTENGARBE, F.-W. & WERNER, P.C. (1999): The analysis of the rainfall variability in the Sahel of the Republic of the Sudan, and its impact on land use. - In: Stabilisierung und nachhaltige Entwicklung land- und forstwirtschaftlicher Systeme in den Tropen (Tropentag 3. Und 4. Dezember 1998 in Göttingen). Göttinger Beiträge zur Land- und Forstwirtschaft in den Tropen und Subtropen, H. 133: 118 - 119.

FRAEDRICH, K., JIANG, J., GERSTENGARBE, F.-W. & P.C. WERNER (1997): Multiscale detection of abrupt climate changes: application to river Nile flood levels. Int. J. Climatol.,17, 1301 - 1317.

GRAEF, F. & K. STAHR (2000): Incidence of soil surface crust types in semi-arid Niger. Soil & Tillage Research 55/3-4: 213-218.

GRAEF, F., VAN DUIVENBOODEN, N. & K. STAHR, (1998): Remote sensing- and transect-based retrieval of spatial soil and terrain (SOTER) information in semi-arid Niger. J. Arid Environments 39: 631-644.

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HERRMANN, L., SPONHOLZ, B. & K. STAHR (1997): Identifizierung trockenzeitlicher und regenzeitlicher Staubquellen im westlichen Westafrika. - Würzburger Geograph. Arb., 92 (Geowissenschaftliche Untersuchungen in Afrika - III): 189-211.

HERRMANN, L., K. STAHR & R. JAHN (1999):The importance of source region identification and their properties for soil-derived dust: The case of Harmattan dust sources for eastern West Africa. Contr. Atmos. Phys., Vol. 72, No. 2, p. 141-150. Vieweg.

HOFFMANN, I. & B. ECKERT (1998): Local knowledge in transition: A case study on women and firewood utilisation in rural Nigeria. In: The Land 2.2, 101-114.

HOFFMANN, I., C. WILLEKE-WETSTEIN & C. SCHÄFER (1998): Description of a grazing ecosystem in Northwestern Nigeria, using environmental indicators. In: Animal Research and Development 48, 69-83.

HOFFMANN, I, S. ZIKELI, S. SCHMIDT, C. VOELCKEL & G. ZIMMERMANN (1999): Livestock production systems in the Karoo. In: Settele, J., I. Hoffmann, R. Jahn, J. Samietz, C. Schäfer, D. Vetterlein (eds.): Rangeland management in the Southern Karoo (South Africa). Conflicts of landuse and environmental conservation. UFZ Report 23/1999, Leipzig, 17-40.

HOFFMANN, I., D. GERLING, U. B. KYIOGWOM & A. MANÉ-BIELFELDT (2001): Farmers' management strategies to maintain soil fertility in a remote area in Northwest Nigeria. Agriculture, Ecosystems and the Environment (in press).

JELTSCH, F., MILTON, S.J., DEAN, W.R.J. & N. VAN ROOYEN (1997): Analysing shrub encroachment in the Southern Kalahari: a grid-based modelling approach. J. Applied ecology 34: 1497-1508.

KIRK, M. (1999): Land Tenure, Technological Change and Resource Use: Transformation Processes in African Agrarian Systems, Frankfurt a. M. etc., Peter Lang ed.

KIRK, M. (1999): The Evolving Role of the State in Influencing Property Rights over Grazing Resources in Sub-Saharan Africa, in: McCarthy, Nancy; Swallow, Brent; Kirk, Michael & Peter Hazell (eds.), Property Rights, Risk and Livestock Development in Africa, Washington, D.C. (IPFRI publ.), pp.23-54.

KIRK, M.(1994): Changes in Property Rights in Resources, Pluri-Activities and Socio-Economic Differentiation: Livestock Systems in the Butana Today, in: Mensching, H.G. & H.S.H. Seifert (eds.), Interdisciplinary Research on Animal Production in the Sahel, Göttinger Beiträge zur Land- und Forstwirtschaft in den Tropen und Subtropen, Bd. 98) Göttingen, pp. 125-149.

KNERR, B. (2000): Desertification and migration - a challenge to cooperation. Food for thought for Egypt. Schriftenreihe Beihefte zu Der Tropenlandwirt, Nr. 69 Sustainable Agriculture and Rural Development in Egypt, International Symposium-cum-Workshop, 20.-26. November 1999, Cairo, Proceedings, in press.

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KUSSEROW, H. & A. OESTREICH (1998): Rainfall development in the West African Sahel in this century - periodic oscillation or decline ? A case study of Niger. - Zbl.Geol.Paläont. Teil 1, 1997,H.1/2:115-131.

KUSSEROW, H. & H. HAENISCH (1999): Monitoring the dynamics of the "tiger bush" (brousse tigrée) in the West African Sahel (Niger) by a combination of Landsat MSS and TM, SPOT, aerial- and kite photographs. - Photogrammetrie, Fernerkundung, Geoinformation; Heft 277-94.

KUSSEROW, H., SCHOLZ, H. & A. LANGSDORF (1999): Genetische Ressourcen wildwachsender Futterpflanzen im westafrikanischen Sahel - Vergleichende taxonomische und molekulargenetische Untersuchungen am Beispiel der Gattung Urochloa. - Cour.Forsch. - Inst. Senckenberg 215:133-136.

KUSSEROW, H. (2000): Suivi des ressources naturelles. Etude d'indicateurs de la désertification à partir de l'imagerie satellitale. - L'observatoire du Sahara et du Sahel (OSS), 33 S. Rosseels, Belgien.

NGAIDO, T. & M. KIRK (2001): Collective Action, Property Rights and Devolution of Rangeland Management: Selected Examples from Africa and Asia, in: IFPRI/ICLARM/DSE (eds.), Collective Action, Property Rights, and Devolution of Natural Resource Development (in press).

NIEMANN, S.(2000): Wasserversorgungund Wasserverwendung in Namibia. Nutzungstraditionen als Grundlage eines nachhaltigen Ressourcenverbrauches im ehemaligen Ovamboland.xiii, 251 S., 19 Abb., 4 Tab., 5 Krt.; Hamburg (Hamburger Beiträge zur Afrika-Kunde) (in press).

NIEMANN, S.(2000): Wassernutzung, ihre Traditionen und deren Verwendbarkeit im Norden Namibias (ehemaliges Ovambolandì). in: Zentralblatt für Geologie und Paläontologie (Tagungsband der AdG-Tagung Paderborn, 23.-24.06.2000) (in press).

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SPONHOLZ, B. & P. MÜLLER-HAUDE (1997): Untersuchungen an kugelförmigen Verkieselungen im präkambrischen Sandstein des Volta-Beckens (Westafrika). - Würzburger Geograph. Arb., 92 (Geowissenschaftsliche Untersuchungen in Afrika - III): 239-251.

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BRECKLE, S.-W., VESTE, M. & W. WUCHERER (2000): Wüstenökologie - Wissen gegen die Desertifikation, Forschung an der Universität Bielefeld, 22, 12-16.

NGAIDO, T. & M. KIRK (2001): Collective Action, Property Rights and Devolution of Rangeland Management: Selected Examples from Africa and Asia, in: IFPRI/ICLARM/DSE (eds.), Collective Action, Property Rights, and Devolution of Natural Resource Development (in press).

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VESTE,M. & S.-W. BRECKLE (2000): Die Negev - Pflanzenökologische und ökosystemare Betrachtungen, Geographische Rundschau 9/2000, 24-29.

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AKHTAR-SCHUSTER, M. (2000): Wasser und Wüste - nicht nur ein Gegensatz - In: (Ed.: Projektstelle Umwelt & Entwicklung) Desertifikation - 1 Mrd. Menschen sitzen auf dem Trockenen. Forum Umwelt und Entwicklung, no. 3. Bonn: 11 - 12.

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BRECKLE, S.-W., WUCHERER, W., AGACHANJANZ. E. & B.V. GELDYEV (2001): The Aral Sea Crisis Region. In: BRECKLE,S.-W., VESTE,M., WUCHERER,W. (eds.): Sustainable Land-Use in Deserts.- Springer/Heidelberg(in press).

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RUNGE, M., ARNDT, S.K., BRUELHEIDE, H., FOETZKI, A., GRIES, D., HUANG, J., POPP, M., THOMAS, F.M., WANG, G. & ZHANG, X. 2000: Contributions to a sustainable management of the indigenous vegetation in the foreland of Cele oasis. - A project report from the Taklamakan desert. In Breckle, S., Veste, M. and Wucherer, W. (eds), Sustainable Land use in Deserts. Berlin (in press).

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WUCHERER, W. & S.-W. BRECKLE (2001): Vegetation Dynamics on the Dry Sea Floor of the Aral Sea. In: BRECKLE,S.-W., VESTE,M., WUCHERER,W. (eds.): Sustainable Land-Use in Deserts.- Springer/Heidelberg (in press).


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Breckle, S.-W., Veste, M. & Wucherer, W. (eds.) (2001): Sustainable Land Use in Deserts. Springer, Berlin Heidelberg New York.

Breu, T. & Hurni, H. (2003): The Tajik Pamirs: Challenges of sustainable development in an isolated mountain region. Berne: Centre for Development and Environment (CDE).

Bruelheide, H., Jandt, U., Gries, D., Thomas, F.M., Foetzki, A., Buerkert, A., Wang, G., Zhang, X. & Runge, M. (2003): Vegetation changes in a river oasis on the southern rim of the Taklamakan desert in China between 1956 and 2000. Phytocoenologia (in press).

Bruelheide, H., et al., (2003): Phytocoenologia 33, in press.

Buss, H.-J. & Nuppenau, E.-A. (2002): More Sustainable Range Use in Semi-Arid Eco-Systems through Adapted Management: A Case Study on Namibian Farms based on Bio-Economic Models. Contributed Paper und Poster, Deutscher Tropentag 2002 Witzenhausen, abstracts/full/191.pdf.

Culmsee, H. (2002): The habitat functions of vegetation in relation to the behaviour of the desert locust Schistocerca gregaria (Forskål) (Acrididae: Orthoptera). A study in Mauritania (West Africa). - Phytocoenologia 32 (4): 645-664.

Culmsee, H. (2002): Saharische und sudanische, Wüsten- und Savannenelemente in der Halbwüstenvegetation Mauretaniens. - Ber. d. Reinh.-Tüxen-Ges. 14: 69-79.

Culmsee, H. (2003): Das UNESCO-Biosphärenreservatkonzept als Instrument der Entwicklungszusammenarbeit. - In: Kaiser, M. (Hrsg.): WeltWissen. Entwicklungszusammenarbeit in der Weltgesellschaft, S. 163-181. - Transcript, Bielefeld.

Culmsee, H. & Deil, U. (2003): Landnutzung im Westlichen Hohen Atlas (Marokko): nachhaltig oder degradierend? - Mitteilungen des Badischen Landesvereins für Naturkunde und Naturschutz, N.F. 18 (2), in print.

Deil, U. (2001): Land-use changes and its effects on biodiversity and vegetation cover - The situation of Morocco in the West Mediterranean context. - In: Berriane, M & Kagermeier, A. (éds.): Le Maroc à la veille du troisième millénaire - Défis, chances et risques d´un développement durable. Actes du 6ème colloque maroco-allemand de Paderborn 2000. = Maghreb-Studien 14: 107-124. Passau.

Deil, U. (in press): Holy Forests in Northern Morocco - A Materialization of the Noosphere in the Biosphere. - Bocconea.

Deil, U. & Galan de Mera, A. (in press): Contribution à la connaissance de la phytosociologie et biogéographie des groupements rupicoles calcaires du Maroc. - Bull. Inst. Sci. (Rabat) 20: 87-111.

Deininger, K. & Kirk, M. (2003): Land policy, poverty alleviation and sustainable rural development, agriculture + rural development, (in print).

ELHagwa, A., Richter, C. & Kleeberg, A.: Testing Salt Tolerance of the main Sorghum cultivars for Semi- Arid Conditions o f Sudan. Challenges to Organic Farming and Sustainable Land Use in the Tropics and Subtropics, Kassel University Press, 108.

Gaiser, T., Ferreira, L.G.R. & Stahr, K.: An Information System for Land Resources in Piauí and Ceará, (Hrsg. T.Gaiser, M. Krol, H. Frischkorn, J.C. de Araújo); Global Change and Regional Impacts; S. 267-278, ISBN 3-540-43824-6, Springer Verlag Berlin Heidelberg New York, 2002.

Gries, D. et al., (2003): Plant, Cell and Environment 26, 752-736.

Gries, D., Zeng, F., Foetzki, A., Arndt, S.K., Bruelheide, H., Thomas, F.M., Zhang, X. & Runge, M. (2003): Growth and water relations of Tamarix ramosissima and Populus euphratica on Taklamakan desert dunes in relation to depth to a permanent water table. Plant, Cell and Environment 26: 725-736.

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Hill, J., 2000, Assessment of semi-arid lands: monitoring dryland ecosystems through remote sensing, in R.A. Meyers, ed., Encyclopedia of Analytical Chemistry - Instrumentation and Applications, (Chichester: John Wiley & Sons), 8769-8794.

Hill, J., and B. Schütt, 2000, Mapping complex patterns of erosion and stability in dry Mediterranean ecosystems, Remote Sens. Environ., 74, 557-569.

Hill, J., P. Hostert & A. Röder, 2003, Observation and long-term monitoring of Mediterranean ecosystems with satellite remote sensing and GIS, Management of Environmental Quality, 14, 1, 51-68.

Herrmann, L., K. Vennemann, M. von Oppen, K. Stahr and P. Webb: Atlas of natural and agronomic resources in south-west Niger and south Benin: An open and developing tool for presentation of scientific results. In: G. Renard, S. Krieg, P. Lawrence and M. von Oppen (Eds.) Proceedings "Farmers and scientists in a changing environment". Margraf Verlag, Weikersheim. S. 245-251, (1999)

Hoff, H. & Tielbörger, K. (2001): GLOWA Jordan River: Vulnerability of water resources in Eastern Mediterranean environments - an integrated approach to sustainable management. The Open Science Conference- Challenges of a Changing World, Amsterdam, Niederlande.

Hoffmann, A., Zeller, U., Giere, P., Vohland, K. & Muck, C. (2003): Auswirkung verschiedener Beweidungsfromen auf Kleinsäuger im südlichen Namibia. Poster Präsentation: UNCCD - Welttag zur Bekämpfung der Wüstenbildung, 17.6. 2003 in Hamburg.

Hostert, P., A. Röder, J. Hill, T. Udelhoven & G. Tsiourlis, 2003, Retrospective studies of grazing-induced land degradation: a case study in central Crete, Greece, Int. J. Remote Sensing, 24, 20, 4019-4034.

Hostert, P., A. Röder & J. Hill, 2004, Coupling spectral unmixing and trend analysis for monitoring of long-term vegetation dynamics in Mediterranean rangelands, Remote Sensing of Environment, 87, 183-197.

Hurni, H., Wiesmann, U., & R. Schertenleib (editors). (2003): Research for mitigating syndromes of global change. Berne: Centre for Development and Environment (CDE).

Jagdish, C., Katyal & Paul L.G. Vlek (2000): Desertification - Concept, Causes and Amelioration. ZEF-Discussion Papers on Development Policy No. 33, Center for Development Research (ZEF), Bonn. Available at:

Jeltsch F., Weber G & Grimm V. (2000): Buffering mechanisms in savannas: A unifying theory of long-term tree-grass coexistence. Plant Ecology 150 (1/2), 161-171.

Jeltsch, F., Stephan, T., Wiegand, T., Weber, G.E. (2001): Arid rangeland management supported by dynamic spatially-explicit simulation models. In: Breckle SW, Veste M, Wucherer W (eds) Sustainable land-use in deserts. Springer, Berlin, pp.229-240.

Kamara, A., Swallow, B. & Kirk, M. (2003): Role of policies and development interventions in pastoral resource management: The Borana rangelands in southern Ethiopia, (Socio-economics and Policy Search Working paper 53), International Livestock Research Institute, Nairobi, Kenya.

Kesel, R., Koehler, H., Heyser, W. & Gödeke, T. (1999): ReviTec - eine neue integrierte ökologische Technologie zur Renaturierung degradierter Standorte. In: Koehler, H., K. Mathes, B. Breckling (eds.), Bodenökologie interdisziplinär. Springer, Berlin, etc.: 173-187.

Kirk, M. (2000): Innovative Land and Resource Policy in an Asian Context: Options and challenges, in: Banskota, M.; Papola, T. & J. Richter (eds.), Growth, Poverty Alleviation and Sustainable Resource Management in the Mountain Areas of South Asia, (ICIMOD, DSE), Kathmandu, pp. 377-406.

Kirk, M. (2003): Einkommensschaffende Maßnahmen im Kontext eines nachhaltigen Ressourcenmanagements in Mali, (GTZ publ.), Bonn.

Kirk, M. (2003): Biodiversity, local governance and migration: Southern African and Asian Experiences, in: D. Werner (ed.) Biological Resources and Migration, Heidelberg etc., [in print]

Kirsch-Jung, K.P. & Kusserow, H. (2002): Monitoring land degradation and erosion control measures: Analysis of multitemporal satellite data of the West African Sahel - Proceedings 12th International Soil Conservation Organisation Conference May 26-31, 2002 Beijing, China, Volume IV:17-20.

Knerr, B., Kirk, M. & Buchenrieder, G. (eds.) (2002): The Role of Resource Tenure, Finance and Social Security in Rural Development, Weikersheim.

Koehler, H., Kesel, R., Heyser,W. (2003): Sukzession contra Desertifikation. Poster UN-Tag der Desertifikation, Hamburg.

Kusserow, H. (2001): Lutte contre la désertification au Niger: utilisation des images satellites pour le suivi impact. Cas de PASP et PDRT. - TZ-Verlagsgesellschaft, 50p. Rossdorf.

Li Xy, Zhang X.M., Zeng, F.J., Foetzki, A., Thomas, F.M., Li Xm, Runge, M., He Xy (2002): Water relations of Alhagi sparsifolia in the southern fringe of Taklamakan desert. Acta Botanica Sinica 44: 1219-1224.

Martius, C., Tiessen, H., Vlek, P.L.G. (Eds.; 2001): Management of Organic Matter in Tropical Soils: Scope and Limitations. Kluwer, Dordrecht. 248 pp.

McCarthy, N., Swallow, B., Kirk, M. & Hazell, P. (eds.) (1999): Property Rights, Risk and Livestock Development in Africa, IFPRI-Publication, Washington.

McCarthy, N., Kamara, A. & Kirk, M. (2003): The effect of environmental variability on livestock and land-use management: The Borana Plateau, Southern Ethiopia, Journal of African Economics, Vol. 12, No. 2, pp. 236-270.

Miehlich, G. (2003): Die Bekämpfung der Bodendegradation - eine weltweite Herausforderung. In: Petermanns Geographische Mitteilungen, 147, S. 6-13.

Müller, J. & Wittig, R. (2002): L'état actuel du peuplement ligneux et la perception de sa dynamique par la population dans le Sahel burkinabé - présenté à l'exemple de Tintaboora et de Kollangal Alyaakum.- Etudes flor. veg. Burkina Faso 6, 19-30.

Ngaido, T. & Kirk, M. (2001): Collective Action, Property Rights and Devolution of Rangeland management: selected Examples from Africa and Asia, in: Meinzen-Dick, R. et. al. (eds), Collective Action, Property Rights and Devolution of Natural Resource Management, (DSE/IFPRI), Feldafing, pp. 147-182.

Nuppenau, E.-A. (2002): Managing Biodiversity as Insurance against Crop Failures: Nature as a Public Preventive and Risk Insurance Tool. In: IERLAND, E. C., WEIKARD, H. P. und J. WESSELER, Risk and Uncertainty in Environmental and Resource Economics. Contributed Paper, Conference on: Risk and Uncertainty in Environmental and Resource Economics.

Sternberg, M. & Tielbörger, K. (2002): From Mediterranean to desert ecosystems: a new experimental approach for studying the effects of global climate change on plant community dynamics. IXth European Ecological Congress, EURECO '02, Lund, Schweden.

Thomas, F.M., Foetzki, A., Arndt, S.K., Bruelheide, H., Gries, D., Li X., Zeng, F., Zhang, X., & Runge M. Water use in stands of four vegetation-forming perennials in a Central-Asian desert. (submitted to Ecology).

Thomas, F.M., Bruelheide, H., Foetzki, A., Gries, D., Huang, J., Popp, M., Wang, G., Zhang, X. & Runge, M. (2000): Ecological basis for a sustainable management of the indigenous vegetation in a Central-Asian desert: presentation and first results. Journal of Applied Botany ? Angewandte Botanik 74: 212-219.

Tielbörger, K., Prasse, R, Bornkamm, R. Kadmon, R. & Tsoar, H. (2000): Sukzessionsprozesse in einem Sanddünengebiet nach Ausschluß von Beweidung. Brandenburgische Umwelt Berichte (BUB) 8: 112-113.

Tielbörger, K. (2001): Population dynamic consequences of climate change: do annual plants adapt or merely respond to changes in water availability? "Kick-off meeting for GLOWA Jordan River".

Weber, G.E., Jeltsch, F. (2000): Long-term impacts of livestock herbivory on herbaceous and woody vegetation in semiaridsavannas. Basic and Applied Ecology 1: 13-23.

Wichmann, M., Jeltsch, F., Dean W.R.J., Moloney, K. A., Wissel, C. (2003): Implications of climate change for the persistence of raptors in arid savannah. Oikos 102: 186-202.

Xie, Y. & Wittig, R. (in press): Growth Parameters of Characteristic Species of Stipa steppes in Northern China as Indicators of the Grazing Intensity. Applied Botany.

Yohannes, Uloro & Richter C. (1999): Phosphorus efficiency of different varieties of Phaseolus vulgaris L. and Sorghum bicolor (L) Moench on an alfisol in the Eastern Ethiopian highlands. Ethiopian Journal of Natural Resources 1, 187 - 200 (1999).

Zeller, U., Vohland, K., Ade, M., Deckert, J., Eiseb, S., Giere, P., Hoffmann, A., Koch, F., Marais, E., Mey, W., Plötner, J., Uhlig, M., & Wendt, H. (2002): Functional Zoodiversity in Southern Africa under changing Environments and Human Use. Poster Präsentation Arid Zone Ecology Forum Conference, in Middleburg, Easter Cape Province, Südafrika. (27.-30. August 2002).

The United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification and the role of science and technology

The international community has recognized that desertification is a major economic, social, and environmental problem of concern to many countries in all regions of the world. On the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED), held in Rio de Janeiro in 1992, the worldwide desertification was still a major concern. The Conference supported a new integreated approach to the problem. It also called on the United Nations General Assembly to initiate the Convention to Combat Desertification in Those Countries Experiencing Serious Drought and/or Desertification (UNCCD). In December 1992 the United Nations General Assembly adopted the UN Resolution 47/188. The Convention entered into force on 26 December 1996 and is now is binding international law and should implement major development programmes. Now more than 160 countries are parties. Actions programmes to combat desertification from the local and national to the regional scales are under development.

Science and technology as well as education are important to combat desertification. The convention promote following scientific issues in Article 16-18.

· Information collection, analysis and exchange

· Research and Development

· Transfer, aquisition, adaptation and development of technology

Beside the development of new technologies the succesfull traditonal know-how should be protected and modified for the local needs. The Commitee für Science and Technology was established as body to adivse the Conference of the Parties with scientific background information. But also the direct information and data transfer and joint research and development projects in affected countries have to be promoted with the help of the convention.

A permanent secretariat of UNCCD was established in Bonn (Germany) in January 1999 to coordinate its activities and faciliate assistance to affected countries.

Research Institutions