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Sub-regional program to combat desertification in West Asia (SRAP) rehabilitation of degraded rangelands

Tuesday, 27 October 2015 10:24 Written by 
  • Location(s): Syria
  • Type(s): Solution
  • Theme(s): Environment, Land Management
  • SDG(s): 15. Life on land
  • Locations in the Arab States: Syria
  • Types in the Arab States: Solution
  • Themes in the Arab States: Environment, Land Management
  • SDGs in the Arab States: 15. Life on land

The United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification was issued as respond to the international community to coordinate efforts to combat desertification and rehabilitation of degraded land and mitigate the negative effects of desertification on natural resources and human societies. The agreement focused the work according to different levels through national action plans (NAPs) and regional/ sup-regional programs (RAPs - SRAPs) to promote cooperation between the countries of the region or under the same region through the coordination of work in the field of desertification monitoring and control and the exchange of information and experience in this area. 

Accordingly, the preparation and implementation of the program has been done to Combat Desertification in West Asia in cooperation between the United Nations Environment Programme / Regional Office for West Asia UNEP / ROWA and the Arab Center for the Studies of Arid Zones and Dry lands ACSAD and the International Center for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas ICARDA program 

Program Objectives: 
The program focused on two main themes: water and vegetation, so the program implemented through two networks: sustainable water management (TN1) and the sustainable management of vegetation cover (TN2) for the following objectives: a. Support countries in the region to implement strategies for sustainable management of water resources and vegetation. B. The development of innovative activities to improve water resources and vegetation management. T. Contribute to the development and implementation of programs to combat desertification and building partnership between all parties. W. Support the implementation of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification at the national, regional and under. C. Facilitate the exchange of information and experiences between countries in the region. 

Program Activities: 

  1. Choosing sites in cooperation with government institutions and NGOs
  2. Implementation of an initial workshop with the participation of all stakeholders to develop a plan of action.
  3. Implementation of social, economic and environmental studies
  4. Conducting national training course for national expertise to strengthening the capacity to implement the proposed actions to combat desertification and rehabilitation of degraded land.
  5. Conducting awareness-raising activities for local communities towards desertification issues.
  6. Conducting training of national cadres in order to adopt national policies to support the implementation of the national action programs to combat desertification and integration into national development plans activities.
  7. Applying different procedures to restore degraded land rehabilitation, such as water harvesting, planting and maintenance of plants pastoral terraces and the fight against water erosion and wind action.
  8. Establishment of monitoring and evaluation system for desertification processes using the technology of remote sensing and geographic information systems integration with the business field. 


The project was implemented between2003-2006. In addition to the positive results achieved in terms of mitigation and rehabilitation of degraded land and improve vegetation and raise the productivity of land degradation, the project has achieved the following successes: 

  1. Improve the living conditions of the local population as a result of improved pasture productivity and income generation through project activities.
  2. Identify successful environmentally appropriate procedures and appropriate technologies to combat desertification and reduce land degradation.
  3. Raise the awareness of concerned communities and decision makers about the dangers of desertification on human and environmental systems.
  4. Improve water resources and vegetation databases.
  5. Identify ways and means and technologies to improve pasture productivity.
  6. Determine the appropriate procedures for water harvesting and re-publish it. 

Lesson learned: 

It turns out that it can be re rehabilitation of pastoral lands that the percentage of plant cover more than 32% could raise this percentage to 80% after rehabilitation. 

  1. Topographic diversity in the rehabilitated areas helps to broader application of the procedures for water harvesting.
  2. The best ways to harvest the water was semicircular departments and basins Maanah shape.
  3. Mild or moderate deterioration of land can be rehabilitated through the protection and little direct intervention for rehabilitation.
  4. Can mitigate the losses due to soil erosion by applying proper maintenance roads and mountain terraces are considered maintenance of these roads.
  5. It was noted that conducting field visits and workshops was basic tools to raise awareness.
  6. It was noted that the training of national cadres and activate the participation of the necessary measures to sustain employment and to maintain the positive results of the projects to combat desertification approach. 

Owner: International Center for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas ICARDA program 

ACSAD - This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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