Apr 28

A Drylands and Desert Restoration Hub

Overview

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.

Feb 16

Funded opportunity for Short Term Scientific Mission

The Soil Conservation Service of Iceland is looking for a motivated, innovative and independent researcher interested in developing a database for long-term restoration research in southern Iceland.  A fixed grant of up to €2500 will be awarded as a contribution towards the cost of travel, board and lodging. The closing date for applications is 6 March 2015. Full details can be found here: Iceland STSM proposal

Jan 21

Training School on Restoration in Mediterranean Drylands

The University of Lisbon and the Autonomous University of Madrid will be co-hosting a training school on ‘Restoration in Mediterranean Drylands’, 13-21 May 2015.

This Iberian Training School will focus on drylands ecological restoration and agricultural land management in order to combat desertification through the establishment and management of vegetation. We will provide the students with the scientific basis and practical guidance in field classes for sustainable land use, and we will create and strengthen links between them and established experts. In addition to classroom lectures, there will be practical classes and field trips to apply relevant methodologies for successful revegetation and soil conservation.

COST Action ES1104 is offering 18 funded places on the training school on a competitive basis. Successful applicants will be offered a maximum grant of €1500 as a contribution towards the costs of travel, accommodation and meals. The exact award offered will depend on the cost of travel as this differs considerably across eligible countries. Please note that the grant will be paid by bank-to-bank transfer after the course has been completed.

The closing date for applications is 17 April 2015.

For full details of the training school and how to apply click here: Iberian training school

Jan 21

Training school on Plants, Ecology and Management

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

The training school will consist of a number of classroom lectures on the most important methodologies for arid land restoration and will include case studies from various restoration projects. There will also be a field trip to visit restored degraded areas.

COST Action ES1104 is offering 23 funded places on the training school on a competitive basis. Successful applicants from Thessaloniki will be offered a maximum grant of €150 as a contribution towards the costs of meals. Successful applicants from abroad or other Greek cities will be offered a maximum grant of €1000 as a contribution towards the costs of travel, accommodation and meals. The exact award offered will depend on the cost of travel as this differs considerably across eligible countries.

The closing date for applications is 16 March 2015.

Full details can be found here: Thessaloniki training school

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.