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News

DESERTWATCH Call for Proposal is now open for competitive tender
2004-03-22
The Invitation To Tender (ITT) on the DUE, "DesertWatch", Ref.AO4590 in the ESA Invitations to Tender, has been published today on EMITS with a closing date of 17 May 2004.
The European Space Agency (ESA) hereby invites all companies from DUE participating countries to submit a tender for the DesertWatch procurement.
If companies are not yet registered as an ESA bidder, they are invited to obtain access to EMITS by completing a questionnaire, which can be found at the indicated URL, section Registration Request.

DesertWatch project

Desertification is the degradation of land in arid, semi-arid, and dry sub-humid areas. It is caused primarily by human activities and climatic variations. Desertification does not refer to the expansion of existing deserts. It occurs because dryland ecosystems, which cover over one third of the world's land area, are extremely vulnerable to over-exploitation and inappropriate land use. Some one billion people in over one hundred countries are at risk.

Recognizing the need to face the problem, 179 governments have joined as of March 2002, the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD). Countries affected by desertification are implementing the Convention by developing and carrying out national, sub-regional, and regional action programmes. Criteria for 'preparing these programmes are detailed in the treaty's five "regional implementation annexes": Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean, the Central and Eastern Europe and the Northern Mediterranean. The DesertWatch project focuses on the latter: i.e., the Annex IV countries of the UNCCD.

In particular, the project was prepared and will be carried out in close collaboration with the national authorities of four of the largest countries in the Annex IV: Greece, Italy, Portugal, and Turkey.

DesertWatch aims at developing a basic, common and standardised information system based on EO technology to support national and regional authorities of Annex IV countries in reporting commonly to the UNCCD and assessing and monitoring desertification and its trends over time.

This will contribute to:

  • The creation of standard and comparable geo-information products from country to country about the status and trends in desertification.
  • The creation of a common framework for reporting to the UNCCD for Annex IV countries;
  • The creation of a common basic infrastructure as a base for further developments where EO plays a key role.
  • The development of a common methodological approach for all countries in Annex IV to assess and monitor the desertification problems and to identify trends and potential scenarios.

From a methodological viewpoint the project will be based on the most consolidated scientific results derived from the several research and application projects funded by the EC, ESA and the R&D national programmes in the last years (e.g., TESEO-Desertification, DISMED, LADAMER, DESERTLINKS, MEDALUS, DEMON, RIAD, etc…). In this context, the project aims at bridging the gap between the extensive research work carried out in the last years and the operational needs of the user community.

Related links

EMITS: ESA Electronic Mail Invitation to Tender System

United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD)

TESEO-Desertification project

Annex images