Apr 28

A Drylands and Desert Restoration Hub


There is great need to restore existing despoiled drylands and to combat increasing desertification. Restoring habitats improves biodiversity, increases carbon sequestration, enhancing the quality of life for people. An essential measure is the planting of and reestablishment of vegetation. The successful establishment of vegetation in arid areas is complex requiring the multi-disciplinary skills of arid land experts with various capabilities, in soils, hydrology, ecology, agronomy, land management etc. However, vegetation restoration techniques in arid areas require review and development. Information on restoration is highly dispersed and often difficult to obtain.

The creation of the ‘Drylands and Desert Restoration Hub’ is thus aimed to bring together the expertise, knowledge and information on vegetation establishment and management that exists in the EU and around the world.  The drylands and desert restoration hub provides a focus for information for all stakeholders.

The Action is devised to provide the science and practical guidance for dryland restoration and combat of desertification through coordinated data-collection with an integrated database within a harmonized information hub of current and new methods and techniques of restoration, trials and field studies, assessment indicators, academic and practical publications, and tools to identify and support practical restoration projects and decision makers in planning and restoring drylands and the combat of desertification. The Action promotes open knowledge, innovation in procedures and methods for improved restoration in dry lands.

The Action; Why and What?

The reasons for setting up a ‘Drylands and Desert Restoration Hub’ are to:

  • Collect,
  • Store,
  • Make Available and Disseminate data and methods, and
  • Instigate  new research regarding the practical methods of revegetating AND MANAGING drylands

Information Exists BUT IT IS:

  • Isolated;
  • Hermetic;
  • Hard to come by;
  • Limited connections between fields;
  • Limited connections between researchers and practitioners;
  • Expertise in Europe with projects around the world but isolated;
  • Europe could lead the field

Desertification and the Combat of Desertification is an EU ISSUE; Mose EU countries have projects running in Africa; Denmark = Burkina Faso, Norway = Eritrea, Ethiopia = Germany = Namibia etc

The action is about practical solutions:

  • the successful establishment of planting;
  • the successful maintenance and management of planting for the long term to meet sustainable objectives for local people, the landscape, ecology and wildlife.

Jan 21

Training School on Ecological Restoration in the Iberian Peninsula

The University of Lisbon and the Autonomous University of Madrid will be co-hosting a training school on ‘Ecological restoration in the Iberian peninsula’, 13-21 May 2015. Further details will be posted shortly.

Jan 21

Training school on Plants, Ecology and Microclimate Manipulation

The Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece, will be holding a training school on ‘Plants, ecology and microclimate manipulation for enhanced vegetation establishment for arid land restoration’, 26-30 April 2015. Further details will be posted shortly.

Dec 02

Wanted – new Management Committee members and observers

COST ES1104 is looking to expand the membership of its Management Committee and Management Committee Observers to include experts in arid lands restoration and the combat of desertification from the following countries:

COST member countries as a Management Committee Member: Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Estonia, Ireland, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Poland, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Sweden, former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia.

Near Neighbour countries as a Management Committee Observer: Albania, Algeria, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Egypt, Georgia, Lebanon, Libya, Moldova, Montenegro, Russia, Syria, Ukraine.

If you are interested in representing one of these countries on the Management Committee or as a Management Committee Observer, please send a brief letter of motivation to the Action Chair, Dr Benz Kotzen (b.kotzen@gre.ac.uk), outlining your expertise in the topic.

Mar 26

Funding for Short-Term Scientific Missions

Funding is available for Short-Term Scientific Missions that contribute to the scientific objectives of this COST Action. Missions are aimed at strengthening the Action network by, for example, allowing scientists to go to an institution or laboratory in another COST country to foster collaboration, to learn a new technique, or to take measurements using instruments and/or methods not available in their own institution/laboratory.

Applications are invited for STSMs which will be completed by the end of May 2015. There is no deadline for application; awards will be made on a first come first served basis.

For details on how to apply follow this link: STSMs