Search project 

DesertWatch Extension

Monitoring Land Degradation Trends

Development of a geo-information system to produce a set of geo-information maps and indicators in order to monitor desertification, droughts and land degradation worldwide.

Project References
 Name DesertWatch Extension
 Title Monitoring Land Degradation Trends
 Programme DUE (Data User Element)
 Theme International Conventions
 Cost €420k
 Type Service Demonstration
 Status In progress (KO 15/09/2009)
 Sensors KOMPSAT-2 : MSC
Landsat 4/5 : TM
Landsat 7 : ETM
Project Description
 Web site

Desertification affects several countries worldwide but is especially alarming in the least developed countries with particularly tragic consequences in Africa. Those countries suffering the most the impact of desertification and droughts are also countries where available data, technological knowledge and tools are usually scarce.

Combating desertification is essential to ensuring the long-term productivity of inhabited drylands. Unfortunately, past efforts have often failed, and around the world the problem of land degradation continues to worsen. Recognizing the need for an internationally coordinated approach, 192 governments have joined as of February 2008, the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD). The UNCCD Convention aims to promote effective actions through innovative local programmes and supportive international partnerships. During this 8th Conference of the Parties (COP-8), the UNCCD delegations agreed upon a 10-year strategic plan (2008-2018) to stem desertification and set measurable objectives with a timeline for achieving them. Amongst many objectives settings, the Conference of the Parties has defined a set of "Monitoring, Targets and Indicators" requirements to meet the strategic and operational objectives of the 10-year plan. The 10-year strategic plan provides a global framework to support the development and implementation of national and regional policies, programmes and measures that would prevent, control and reverse desertification, land degradation and mitigate the effects of drought worldwide.

ESA initiated the DesertWatch project with the objective to develop a geo-information system for assessing and monitoring land degradation using EO technologies, and for supporting national authorities in reporting to the UNCCD. While the DesertWatch project originally focussed on the Northern Mediterranean countries (Annex IV countries), this extension will study and demonstrate how the DesertWatch approach can be adapted to respond to the needs of non-Annex IV countries and in particular of those emerging from developing countries where access to field measurements is scarce and highly dispersed in quantity and quality.

 Results DW-E Newsletter 1
DW-E Newsletter 2 EN
DW-E Newsletter 2 PT
Project Consortium
 Prime contractor ACS : Advanced Computer Systems SpA
 Subcontractors Critical Software : Critical Software S.A
CSIC-EEZA : National Research Council (CSIC) - Arid Zones Research Station (EEZA)
DEIMOS Engenharia : DEIMOS Engenharia S.A.
IGP-RSU : Portuguese Geographic Institute, Remote Sensing Unit
IST - CERENA : Instituto Superior Tecnico - Centre for Natural Resources and the Environment
NRD : Desertification Research Group (NRD) - University of Sassari
User Partnership
 Users CNC/PAN Portugal : National Coordinating Body (CNC) of Portugal National Action Program (PAN) on the UNCCD
MICOA-DNGA : Ministry of Coordination of Environmental Affairs (MICOA), National Directorate of Environmental Management (DNGA)
MMA-SEDR : Brazilian Ministry of the Environment (MMA), Secretariat of Extractivism and Sustainable Rural Development (SEDR), National Action Plan to Combat Desertification
Contact Points
 Project Manager Gaetano Pace
ACS, Via della Bufalotta 378
I-00139 Rome
Tel: +39 06-87090.1
Fax: +39 06-87201502
 Technical Officer Marc Paganini
European Space Agency - ESRIN D/EOP-SEP
Via Galileo Galilei
I-00046 Frascati (RM)
Tel: +39 06-941.80563
Fax: +39 06-941.80552
 Copyright 2000 - 2011 © European Space Agency. All rights reserved.