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NRD participates in many different research projects both as coordinator and partner.

Please find below a complete list of all research projects in which NRD has been involved. The projects are listed in chronological order starting from the most recent ones.


Title and acronym: CADWAGO - Climate change adaptation and water governance: reconciling food security, renewable energy and the provision of multiple ecosystem services

Dates: from September 2012 to August 2015

Location: Case studies in Italy (Sardinia and Marche), Sweden, South-East Asia and Canada.

Partnership: Sustainability Research Inst. - Univ. of the Sunshine Coast, Australia; Environmental Sustainability Research Centre - Brock Univ., Canada; Open Systems Research Group - Open Univ., United Kingdom; Griffith Centre for Coastal Management, - Griffith Univ., Australia; Inst. for Marine and Antarctic Studies - Univ. of Tasmania, Australia; Nucleo di Ricerca sulla Desertificazione (NRD UNISS) - Univ. of Sassari, Italy; Environmental Communication - Swedish Univ. of Agricultural Sciences, Sweden; Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), USA; Social Sciences Group - Wageningen Univ., the Netherlands

Source of Funding: Compagnia di San Paolo, VolkswagenStiftung and Riksbankens Jubileumsfond as part of the "Europe and Global Challenges programme

Role of NRD: Partner

Scientific responsible: Prof. Pier Paolo Roggero

NRD members and staff involved: Dr. G. Seddaiu, Phuoc Lai Nguyen Thi, S. Virdis, D. Pittalis

Short project description: CADWAGO, "Climate change adaptation and water governance: reconciling food security, renewable energy and the provision of multiple ecosystem services", aims to develop the knowledge base and capacity to adapt to climate change through improved water governance approaches. Many global challenges are interrelated, and while this project is focused on the nexus between climate change and water security, it has implications for other global challenges. There is a crucial link between good water governance, food security, renewable energy and the provision of multiple ecosystem services in contexts characterized by controversy and uncertainty. CADWAGO brings together 10 partners from Europe, Australasia and North America who have extensive social science research experience in climate change adaptation and water governance issues, thereby extending the collective global knowledge base through sharing methods and findings. CADWAGO builds on the lessons from ongoing research cases to create a forum and dialogue between researchers and stakeholders at different scales. The lessons from the cases will be synthesized and used in the adaptation of key European policy processes and governance actions that have a global impact. High impact peer reviewed publications and practitioner orientated publications will also be focused on as key project outputs

Keywords: Climate Change adaptation, food security, ecosystem services, water governance

Latest updates: Cadwago inception meeting was held at the Univ. of the Sunshine Coast in Australia on 18-19 October 2012

Project website: www.cadwago.net


Title and acronym: ICHNUSA BUBULA - Innovation in the Sardinian beef short supply chain to improve its both economic and environmental sustainability

Dates: from October 2013 to October 2014

Location: Sardinia, Italy

Partnership: Cooperativa Produttori Arborea, Az. Agr. Pirredda Piermario, Az. Agr. Vaddidulimu di Ziruddu Pierfranco, Az. Agr. Giovanni Cubadda, Società Agricola Alinedu

Source of Funding: Misura 124 del PSR della Regione Sardegna 2007/2013

Role of NRD: Scientific Support

Scientific responsible: Prof. Pier Paolo Roggero

NRD members and staff involved: Prof Luciano Gutierrez, Dr Luigi Ledda, Drssa Giovanna Seddaiu, Dr. ssa Simonetta Bagella, Prof. Tonino Scala, Dr. Antonio Varcasia

Project staff: Dr.ssa Antonella Zidda, Dr. Francesco Ruiu, Dr. Marco Marrosu, Dr. Marco Sini, Dr.ssa Sabrina Sardo

Administration staff: Drssa Paola Murru, Drssa Roberta Lobina, Avv. Antonfranco Temussi

Short project description: ICHNUSA BUBULA - The project aims to innovate the Sardinian beef production chain through the design and development of new social learning spaces between researchers, farmers and the Arborea Producers' Cooperative, which coordinates the project. Sardinia imports some 70% of the beef meat as most of the veal calves produced by some 7,000 pastoral farms in the Island are sold to intensive fattening centers in the mainland. This projects aims to support the Arborea Producers' Cooperative in developing a beef production chain based on local resources. New learning spaces are being designed around the improvement of the agronomic management of the grassland and forage systems, the plant biodiversity values of the grasslands, the interactions between grazing animals and parasites and the economic farm sustainability. The project includes the introduction of new technology to transform the beef fattening center waste into a fertilization resource for the extensive livestock farming systems of Sardinia. The new label "Carni bovine di Sardegna" (Sardinian beef meat) is being evaluated in relation to the environmental and economic values associated to the local beef meat chain emerging from the integration between scientific and local knowledge.

Keywords: Local beef meat chain, process innovation, social learning, biodiversity, label, sustainability


Title and acronym: : MACSUR - Modelling European Agriculture with Climate Change for Food Security

Dates: from June 2012 to December 2015

Location: Europe


  • AUSTRIA : WIFO, BOKU Univ. of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna
  • BELGIUM: Univ. of Liège, Gembloux Agro-Bio Tech, Veterinary ecology unit
  • CZECH REPUBLIC: Global Change Research Centre, Academy of Sciences Czech Republic
  • DENMARK: Aarhus Univ., Department of Agroecology, Univ. of Copenhagen
  • ESTONIA: Estonian Univ. of Life Sciences,
  • FINLAND: MTT Agrifood Research Finland
  • GERMANY: Deutscher Wetterdienst, Forschungszentrum Jülich, IBG-3 Agrosphere, Thünen Institut, Karlsruhe Inst. of Technology, Leibniz Inst. for Agricultural Engineering Potsdam-Bornim, Leibniz-Zentrum für Agrarlanschaftsforschung (ZALF) e.V., Potsdam Inst. for Climate Impact Research (PIK), Univ. of Bonn,
  • ISRAEL: Univ. of Haifa
  • ITALY: CRA-SCA Bari, CNR IBIMET Roma, ENEA CR- Casaccia Roma, Fondazione Medes, Polytechnic Univ. of Marche, Univ. di Torino, Univ. della Basilicata, Univ. della Tuscia, Univ. di Bologna, Univ. di Firenze, Univ. di Milano, Univ. di NapoliFederico II, Univ. di Sassari
  • NORWAY: NILF, Norwegian Inst. for Agricultural and Environmental Research, Bioforsk, Norwegian Univ. of Life Sciences, Department of Animal- and Aquacultural Sciences
  • POLAND: Inst. of Agrophysics of Polish Academy of Sciences, Inst. of Logistics and Warehousing, Inst. of Soil Science and Plant Cultivation - State Research Inst., Inst. of Technology and Life Science at Falenty, National Inst. of Public Heath - National Inst. of Hygiene, Plant Breeding and Acclimatization Inst. - Mlochów Research Centre, Univ. of Technology and Life Sciences
  • ROMANIA INCDBNA Balotesti, National Agricultural Research Development Inst. Fundulea, National Inst. of Research and Development for Potato and Sugar Beet, National Meteorological Administration, National Research and Development Inst. for Soil Science Agrochemistry and Environment, Research and Development Inst. for Processing and Marketing of the Horticultural Products, Research Development Inst. for Plant Protection, Research Inst. for Fruit Growing Pitesti, Univ. of Agricultural Sciences and Veterinary Medicine Cluj-Napoca
  • SPAIN: AGRISOST, Basque Centre for Climate Change BC3, CITA, IVPP CSIC, MOMAC, IFAPA, IVIA, IRTA, Technical Univ. of Madrid
  • SWEDEN: Lund Univ., Swedish Univ. of Agricultural Sciences
  • THE NETHERLANDS: Wageningen UR, Crop Science Research Group, INRES, Livestock Research
  • UNITED KINGDOM: Aberystwyth Univ., Cranfield Univ., Moredun Research Inst., Rothamsted Research, The James Hutton Inst., Univ. of Aberdeen, Univ. of Leeds, Univ. of Reading, The Pirbright Inst., SRUC

Source of Funding: : Ministero delle Politiche Agricole Alimentari e Forestali, Roma, Italy in the context of the FACCE (Food, Agriculture and Climate Change) Joint Programme Initiative

Role of NRD: Leader of the Italian partnership in CROP M

NRD Scientific responsible: Prof. P.P. Roggero

NRD members and staff involved:Prof. L. Gutierrez, Dr. L. Ledda, Dr. G. Seddaiu,Dr. L. Doro, Dr. P. Deligios

Short description of MACSUR: MACSUR is a knowledge hub within FACCE-JPI (Joint Programming Initiative for Agriculture, Climate Change, and Food Security). TheFACCE-JPI Scientific Research Agenda defines five core research themes to address the impacts of climate change on European agriculture. MACSUR gathers the excellence of existing research in livestock, crop, and trade science to describe how climate variability and change will affect regional farming systems and food production in Europe in the near and the far future and the associated risks and opportunities for European food security. A knowledge hub is an innovative, tailor-made instrument developed by FACCE-JPI, associating 3 complementary dimensions: networking, research and capacity building.
The knowledge hub consists of 73 partners from 17 countries all over Europe and Israel. The work in MACSUR is organized in three themes on crop, livestock and trade modelling.. NRD is involved in the Crop Modelling (CropM) theme and is leader of the Italian partnership.

Short Description of CropM theme: Various modelling tools are used to support the decision making and planning in agriculture. An important component in this is crop modelling. Yet, recent reviews revealed that neither crop modelling approaches nor the simulation tools are fully up to the task. Another issue is that, while most of the crop growth simulation models have been developed and evaluated at field scale, they are usually applied in large area assessments without applying proper scaling methods. These and other deficiencies lead to uncertainties, which are often not quantified. CropM has the ambition to improve the situation by quantifying the uncertainty in their results and reduce the various model uncertainties through model intercomparison, compiling data as required to fill knowledge gaps, eliminating model deficiencies and improve methods for scaling and uncertainty analysis. The key challenges of CropM is to advance crop modelling for improved assessment of climate change impacts on food security. Importantly, the work strategy includes both to stimulate excellent science and to support capacity and network building including demonstration of improved impact assessments with links to and in consultation with decision makers

Short Description of LiveM theme: There is limited data concerning the adaptation of livestock production systems in Europe to climate change. This means that estimates of baseline impacts are few and therefore analyses of the advantages and disadvantages of particular adaptation strategies difficult to assess. Among the major challenges for the Livestock Sub-Theme are: (i) Identify, evaluate and increase the accessibility of relevant datasets for grasslands, livestock production and climate change; (ii) Compare models at a variety of spatial scales and assess model robustness and uncertainty in their estimates; and (iii) Integrate models across scales with a central focus on adaptation.

Short Description of TradeM theme: TradeM aims at promoting the enhancement and deployment of economic models, a better integration of crop- and livestock production into them and more insights into adaptation and mitigation measures and strategies .A main challenge to TradeM is finding appropriate methods of generalization (scaling) of outputs of models at different levels, starting at farm level and up until European and global scales. Such upscaling will enable appropriate integration of different models that exist.

Keywords: Climate Change adaptation, Agronomy, Modellistic approaches, Participatory Approaches, Carbon and Nitrogen cycles in agro-ecosystems, Desertification and soil erosion in arid environments, Agro-ecosystems management, Cropping systems

Latest updates: The Opening Workshop was held 15-16 October 2012 in Berlin, Germany.

Project web site: www.macsur.eu


Title and acronym: Know - implementing the Knowledge of NitrOgen in groundWater

Dates: from July 2012 to June 2015

Location: Sardinia

Partnership: University of Cagliari (coordinator)

Source of Funding: Sardinian Regional Government, L.R. 7

Role of NRD: partner

NRD Scientific responsible: G. Ghiglieri

NRD members and staff involved: A. Carletti, C. Demurtas, D. Pittalis, G. Seddaiu, P.P. Roggero

Short description of KNOW: Groundwater contamination by nitrogen compounds is considered to be particularly relevant in the European Community. Through the Nitrate Directive the EU countries must define the Nitrate Vulnerable Zones (NVZs), develop protocols of good agricultural practice and set up action programs for the management of farm manure.
In addition, the European water bodies should reach a "good status" chemical (and quantitative) within 2015.
In Sardinia, it has been already identified a NVZ of agricultural origin (Arborea), along with several areas that are potentially vulnerable to nitrates. However, further studies are necessary to identify the source of contamination, either from excessive use of nitrogenous fertilizers or from farm manure. Moreover, it is important to quantify the impact of natural sources of nitrogen compounds on the aquatic system.
In this context, the present research aims to implement the knowledge on nitrate flow in groundwater. In particular:
a) evaluate the efficiency and effectiveness of geochemical and isotopic tracers (oxygen-18, deuterium, nitrogen-15, sulphur-34 and boron-11) as indicators for the definition of the groundwater recharge areas and the identification of nitrate pollution sources in NVZ of Arborea and Nurra;
b) define, by means of mathematical models, the relationship between agricultural practices and the water quality that contributes to recharge the aquifers;
c) test innovative and integrated techniques aimed to define adequate protocols for detection, monitoring and processing of qualitative and quantitative parameters of water resources.
The project will last three years. The expected results will be achieved through an integration of geochemical, hydrogeological and agronomical skills available among the research partners. Beside, the project will benefit of scientific collaborations by the side of national and international experts in the field of this research.
The research topic is part of a wider issue of desertification induced by anthropogenic pressures and focuses on the study of some geochemical -biological-physical processes that contribute to the quality degradation of groundwater resource. The results achieved through the project, will be fundamental for planning appropriate actions for reducing the contamination by nitrate, and monitoring programs directed to the protection of water bodies in order to promote a sustainable use of regional water resources.

Keywords: nitrato, isotopi stabili, idrogeologi

Latest updates:

Project web site:


Title and acronym: PASCUUM - Ecosystemic services for mediterranean rangelands: productivity and carbon sequestration

Dates: from July 2012 to June 2015

Location: Sardinia


Source of Funding: Sardinian Regional Government, L.R. 7

Role of NRD: partner

NRD Scientific responsible: G. Seddaiu

NRD members and staff involved: L. Ledda, P.P. Roggero

Short description of PASCUUM:


Latest updates:

Project web site:


Title and acronym: Ecological Function and Biodiversity Indicators in European Soils - EcoFINDERS

Dates: from 01 Febreuary 2011 to 31 August 2014

Location: Europe

Partnership: Alterra, Wageningen University and Research Centre, The Netherlands, Aarhus University, Denmark, China Agricultural University, China, Centre for Ecology & Hydrology. Natural Environment Research Council, United Kingdom, ECT Oekotoxikologie GmbH, Germany, The Institute for Forecasting of the Slovak Academy of Sciences, Slovakia, Institute of Marine Research, University of Coimbra, Portugal, National Institute for Agricultural Research, Dijon, National Institute for Agricultural Research, Nancy, National Institute for Agricultural Research, Poitou-Charentes, France, National Institute for Agricultural Research, France, Joint Research Centre, European Commission, Belgium, Lund University, Sweden, The Netherlands Institute of Ecology, The Netherlands, The National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM), The Netherlands, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Sweden, Agriculture and Food Development Authority, Ireland, University of Cambridge, United Kingdom, University College Dublin, Ireland, University of Cologne, Germany, University of Lancaster, United Kingdom, University of Aberdeen, United Kingdom, University of Aberdeen, United Kingdom, National Research Council, Italy, Wageningen University & Research Centre, The Netherlands

Source of Funding: European Commission, Framework Programme 7

Role of NRD: partner

NRD Scientific responsible: Pier Paolo Roggero

NRD members and staff involved: Giovanna Seddaiu, Luigi Ledda

Short description: the strategic goal of EcoFINDERS is to support European Union soil policy making by providing the necessary tools to design and implement strategies for sustainable use of soils, including:
- Characterisation of the biodiversity of European soils and the normal operating range (NOR) according to soil types, threats, climatic zones and land uses.
- Determination of relationships between soil biodiversity, functioning and ecosystem services.
- Quantification of the economic values of soil ecosystem services.
- Evaluation of the impacts of human activities on soil biodiversity, functioning and services.
- Design of policy-relevant and cost-effective indicators for monitoring soil biodiversity, functioning and ecosystem services.

Keywords: Soil biodiversity, soil functions, ecosystem services, bioindicators, microorganisms, fauna, environmental economy, long term observatories

Latest updates:

Project website: http://www.EcoFINDERS.eu; http://eusoils.jrc.ec.europa.eu/projects/ecofinders/


Title and acronym: Scenarios of Adaptation of Italian Agriculture to Climate Changes - AgroScenari

Dates: from January 2009 to December 2013

Location: Italy (four study areas)

Partnership: CNR-IBIMET (National Research Council, Biometeorology Institute), CRA (Agricultural Research Council), NRD-UNISS (Desertification Research Group, University of Sassari), CNR-ISAFOM (National Research Council, Institute for the Mediterranean Agricultural and Forestry Systems), ISAN (Food and Nutrition Science Institute, Univ. Cattolica S. Cuore Piacenza), ARPA Emilia-Romagna (Environmental Protection Agency, Regional office), DEAR (Department of Agroforestry and Rural Economics, Univ. Tuscia)

Source of Funding: Ministero delle Politiche agricole alimentari e forestali (MIPAAF)

Role of NRD: Partner, responsible of the research topic no. 2: Analysis of the impact of climate changes on cropping systems, production of scenarios of adaptation.

NRD Scientific responsible: Prof. P. P. Roggero

NRD members and staff involved: Dr G. Seddaiu, Dr. L. Ledda, Dr. R. Della Peruta, Dr. G. Urracci

Short description: The main objective of Agroscenari is to identify the modalities of adaptation to climate changes of the main Italian agricultural systems, assessing their sustainability. Agroscenari proposes a multi-disciplinary approach taking into account the different aspects involved and the interrelations between climate, crops, parasites, soils, social environment and economic profitability of agricultural systems.

Keywords: Scenarios of Adaptation, Climate Change, Italian Agriculture

Latest updates: a project workshop will be held on 13-14 July 2010 in Oristano (the programme will be soon available).
Currently the research group is carrying on two different tasks: (i) collection of samples and data in the field study area; and (ii) calibration of the crop growth simulation models.

Project web site: www.agroscenari.it/


Title and acronym: Pollution risk and prevention of grounwater resources degradation- IDRISK

Dates: from December 2010 to June 2012

Location: Sardinia

Partnership: Dep. of Agronomic sciences and Agricultural Genetics, University of Sassari; Dep. of Engineering of Territory, University of Cagliari.

Source of Funding: Sardinia Region (regional law n°7)

Role of NRD: partner

NRD Scientific responsible: Prof. M. Gutierrez

NRD members and staff involved: Prof. P.P. Roggero, Prof. G. Ghiglieri, Prof. L. Gutierrez, Prof. A. Pusino,

Short description: this interdisciplinary project aims at improving knowkedge on new methodology for monitoring water quality and for an integrated risk evaluation of groundwater degradation by agricultural activities

Keywords: groundwater, pollution, degradation, prevention

Latest updates:

Project website:


Title and acronym: Prevention and Restoration Actions to Combat Desertification. An Integrated Assessment - PRACTICE

Dates: from September 2009 to August 2012

Location: many "desertification restoration" sites all around the world; NRD sites located in Sardinia and Morocco

Partnership: 15 partners coordinated by CEAM (Spain)

Source of Funding: European Commission, Framework Programme 7

Role of NRD: partner

Scientific responsible: Dr. C. Zucca (for NRD)

NRD members and staff involved: Prof. M. Mulas, Prof. R. Scotti, Prof. S. Madrau

Short description: Objective of the project is the integrated and comprehensive assessment and evaluation of long time prevention and restoration interventions carried out in a wide range of conditions worldwide. Two key activities for pursuing this goal will be the establishment of an information system of long-term monitoring sites for assessing actions to combat desertification, and the definition of an integrated protocol for the assessment of these actions. The impacts on socio-economic status, soil functions, biodiversity, and ecosystem services will be specifically considered. Best practices will be identified considering traditional and innovative approaches, and multiple purposes at different spatial (local to global) scales, and by establishing cost-effective thresholds for the various alternatives. The project will develop educational material and transnational science strategies, and implement participatory approaches to share and transfer evaluation methods and best practices.

Keywords: Desertification; restoration; integrated assessment; ecosystem functions; long term monitoring.

Latest updates: 22 February 2011: side event on PRACTICE at the CRIC9 in bonn, Germany (see invitation attached)

Side event at CRIC9 in Bonn (file PDF - 201 Kb)
22 February - invitation
First Annual Meeting - Minutes (file PDF - 189 Kb)
4-6 October 2010 - Pula (Sardinia-Italy)

Progetto pilota di lotta alla desertificazione nelle cinque regioni italiane a rischio

Title and acronym: Progetto pilota di lotta alla desertificazione nelle cinque regioni italiane maggiormente a rischio - Pilote project to combat desertification in the five italian regions most at risk

Dates: from July 2007 to July 2009

Location: Italy

Partnership: ARPAS Sardegna (coordinator) NRD-University of Sassari, DIGITA - University of Cagliari; Dipartimento di Scienze Botaniche - Università degli Studi di Cagliari

Source of Funding: Comitato nazionale per la lotta alla siccità ed alla desertificazione (Italian national committee to fight against drought and desertification)

Role of NRD: partner

Scientific responsible: Prof. G. Ghiglieri

NRD members and staff involved: Prof. G. Ghiglieri

Short description: this project starts from the results obtained within the project RIADE, (www.riade.net), which has experimented with an innovative approach on issues related to protection strategies of ground water resorces in the pilot area of Nurra, Alghero (Sardinia). The aim of this new project is to find a more detailed definition of the issues concerning ground water degradation phenomena with particular reference to traceability of nitrogen pollutants, by applying techniques using natural isotopes.


Project web site:


Title and acronym: Best practices to combat desertification

Dates: from: 31 July 2009 to 15 November 2009

Location: Italy

Partnership: Italian Ministry of Environment, Territory and Sea NRD - UNISS

Source of Funding: Ministero dell'Ambiente e della Tutela del Territorio e del Mare (MATTM - Italian Ministry of Environment, Territory and Sea)

Role of NRD: author

NRD Scientific responsible: Prof Pier Paolo Roggero

NRD members and staff involved: Prof. P. P. Roggero, Dr G. Seddaiu, Dr. C. Zanolla, Dr. P. Pisanu, Dr S. Solinas

Short description: The aim of the project is to develop an operational concept on "Best practices to combat desertification", on the basis of the application of an original conceptual framework derived from the SLIM research project ( http://slim.open.ac.uk) to a number of case studies in the most vulnerable Italian regions (Sardinia, Sicily, Calabria, Basilicata and Puglia). The case studies are being selected together with the referees appointed by the National Committee to Combat Desertification of the Italian Ministry of Environment, Landscape and Sea. The emerging learning process of this interdisciplinary research team with the case study stakleholders involved in the analysis, is expected to result into operational guidelines for national or regional administration for the implementation of the UNCCD (www.unccd.int) in Italy.

Keywords: best practice, desertification, evaluation.

Last updates: field visits in Sardinia, Sicily, Puglia, Calabria and Basilicata to preview some local interventions to combat desertification.



Title and acronym: A Surveillance System for Assessing and Monitoring Desertification - DESURVEY

Dates: from March 2005 to March 2010

Location: Mediterranean Europe (Greece, Italy, Portugal Spain), Africa (Algeria, Morocco, Senegal, Tunisia), Asia (China), South America (Chile)

Partnership: CSIC-Spain, University of Trier University of Trier-Germany, University of East Anglia-UK, RIKS-The Netherlands, University of Leeds-UK, University of Cranfield-UK, Lund University-Sweden, MEDIASFrance-France, CIHEAM Zaragoza-Spain, Universidade de Evora-Portugal, National Observatory of Athens-Greece, INEA-Italy, Universidad de Castilla-la-Mancha-Spain,
Aristotle University of Thessaloniki-Greece, King's College London-UK, IRD-France, Université Catholique de Louvain-Belgium, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin-Germany, European Commision Directorate General JRC IES-Italy, Freie Universitaet Berlin-Germany, Universitat de Valencia-Spain, Agricultural University of Athens-Greece, Instituto Superior de Agronomia-Portugal, Universidad Carlos III de Madrid-Spain, Chinese Academy of Sciences IRSA-China, NAGREF-Greece, ENEA C.R. Casaccia-Italy, DLR-Germany, Universidade Nova de Lisboa-Portugal, GFZ Postdam-Germany, Universidad de Almeria-Spain, Universidad de Chile-Chile, Centre de Recherches Forestières-Morocco, Institut des Régions Arides-Tunisia, CRSTRA-Biskra, NOVELTIS-France, GeoApikonisis-Greece, Centre du Suivi Ecologique-Senegal

Source of Funding: European Commission - Framework Programme 6

Role of NRD: partner

NRD Scientific responsible: Dr. C. Zanolla, Dr. C. Zucca

NRD members and staff involved: Dr. C. Zanolla, Dr. C. Zucca

Short description: in spite of the relevance of diagnosis to help the success of desertification treatment, there is a lack of standardised procedures to perform it at operational scales. This project offers a contribution to fill this gap by complementing assessment of desertification status with early warning and vulnerability evaluation of the involved land use systems. To this purpose, the interactive effects of climatic and human drivers of desertification will be taken into account in a dynamic way. The project goal is to deliver a compact set of integrated procedures, with application and tutorial examples at the EU and national scales.


Project website: http://www.desurvey.net/



Title and acronym: Development of sustainable and multifunctional farm models for the exploitation of pasture resources in marginal areas using GIS - MASOGIS

Dates: from May 2005 to November 2008

Location: Italy

Partnership: University of Turin-Italy, CRPA-Italy, University of Perugia-Italy, University of Sassari-Italy, CONSDABI-Italy, Istiuto Sperimentale Italiano L. Spallanzani-Italy.

Source of Funding: Regione Piemonte

Role of NRD: coordinator

Scientific responsible: Prof. G. Enne

NRD members and staff involved: Dr. C. Zucca, Dr. S. Musinu

Short description: the project includes 16 study areas in as many Italian regions characterized by the typical forage and pasture systems of marginal areas. The peculiar feature of this project is the development of a Geographical Information System (GIS) common to all areas concerned; the system will become a useful tool for data synthesis, analysis and elaboration, integration of conceptual and interpretation models of farms and pastures, definition and evaluation of environmental and economic sustainability of farms. A main distinctive feature of the project is the collaboration and exchange network among institutions and administrations to carry out the research activity which allows the sharing of information and data, as well as the realisation of training activities and seminars.


Project web site: http://www.maso-gis.it/


L'innovazione per una gestione sostenibile dei sistemi pascolivi italiani 
Documents distributed during the Seminar held on 29 january 2009, Turin (Italian version only


Title and acronym: Development of an information system based on Remote Sensing technologies for the evaluation and monitoring of desertification and its temporal evolution - DESERTWATCH 2

Dates: from 2009 to 2011

Location: Brazil and Mozambique

Partnership: Advanced Computer Systms ACS SpA, Italy, Estación Experimental de Zonas Áridas (EEZA), CSIC, Critical Software (Portugal), Instituto Geografico Portugues (Portugal), Instituto Superior Tecnico, (Portugal), Deimos Engenharia, (Portugal).

Source of Funding: European Space Agency

Role of NRD: partner

NRD Scientific responsible: Dr. C. Zucca

NRD members and staff involved: Dr. C. Zucca

Short description: The project constitute an extension (adaptation) of the DesertWatch approach to the tropical areas affected by desertification in Brazil and Mozambique. NRD is responsible for the supervision of the Requirement Engineering phase,
including the analysis of the scientific state of the art, of the technical and technological requirements and of the institutional users needs in term of monitoring and assessment of desertification.

Keywords: Remote Sensing

Latest updates: requirement engineering phase under completion; related report under revision by the NRD responsible.

Project website: dup.esrin.esa.it/desertwatch/home.asp


Title and acronym: Mise en oeuvre d'une Plateforme de Services pour la lutte contre la sécheresse et la désertification dans les régions du bassin de la Méditerranée Européenne à travers un système d'actions pilote locale - DESERTNET 2

Dates: from October 2005 to June 2008

Location: Mediterranean Europe and MEDA Countries

Partnership: Regione Calabria-Italy, Regione Toscana-Italy, Regione Sicilia-Italy, Regione Basilicata-Italy, Regione Sardegna-Italy, , Region de Murcia-Spain, Junta de Andalucia-Spain, ENEA-Italy, APAT-Italy, University of Algarve-Portugal, NAGREF-Greece

Source of Funding: Programme Interegg IIIB-MED-OCC

Role of NRD: coordinator

NRD Scientific responsible: Prof. G. Enne

NRD members and staff involved: Dr. P. Pisanu

Short description: this project aims to carry on the experience started with DesertNet 1 project, while developing, improving and integrating it with innovating aspects. Specific objectives will be enforcing and widening the partnership, through structuring of a system of pilot actions linked to local planning processes, implementation, animation, integration of innovating functions in the Platform of Services (PoS) created during the DesertNet Project, iinter-sectoral and territorial integration, creation of an efficient system of transfer of the results to the Institutions, promotion of actions aimed to sensitize local populations and to spread the results, at national and international level.

Key words: International Network, desertification, Platform of Services, pilot actions,Mediterranean

Project web site: www.desertnet.org



Title and acronym: DESERTWATCH

Dates: from November 2004 to June 2008

Location: Portugal, Italy, Greece and Turkey

Partnership: ACS Italy, CSIC-EEZA Spain, ENEA-Casaccia Italy, RIKS Netherlands, UTRIER-RSD Germany

Source of Funding: European Space Agency

Role of NRD: partner

NRD Scientific responsible:

NRD members and staff involved:

Short description: The project aims to develop a monitoring operative system of the desertification based on remote sensing technologies and data to support the national and regional authority of the Annex IV country to implement the UNCCD. The system will support the evaluation and the monitoring of desertification and its change during the time. The system will be based on consolidated techniques and algorithms for Remote Sensing data elaboration to provide institutional user with a highly reliable and standardized tool.


Project website: http://dup.esrin.esa.it/desertwatch/home.asp


Title and acronym: Monitoring and actions to Combat Desertification in Mediterranean Europe - DESERTNET

Dates: from October 2002 to June 2004

Location: Mediterranean Europe

Partnership: Regione Liguria-Italy, Regione Campania-Italy, Regione Calabria-Italy, Regione Toscana-Italy, Regione Sicilia-Italy, Regione Basilicata-Italy, Regione Sardegna-Italy, ARPA-SIM-Italy, Region de Murcia-Spain, Junta de Andalucia-Spain, ENEA-Italy, APAT-Italy, University of Cagliari-Italy

Source of Funding: Programme Interegg IIIB-MED-OCC

Role of NRD: coordinator

NRD Scientific responsible: Prof. G. Enne

NRD members and staff involved: Dr. C. Caria

Short description: this project aimed at studying, monitoring and managing in a sustainable way the areas threatened by Desertification in Mediterranean Europe. It carried out a rationalisation of the information and of technical-scientific experiences acquired and elaborated for risk areas identified in previous national and regional programmes. The general objective of the project was the creation of a platform of services, a network of Pilot actions and users and an Interregional Observatory to Combat Desertification, to contribute to the creation of an homogeneous system to exchange data/information and to monitor desertification processes.


Project web site: www.desertnet.org


Title and acronym: Integrated research for applying new technologies and processes for combating desertification - RIADE

Dates: from October 2002 to October 2006

Location: Sicily, Sardinia, Apulia and Basilicata

Partnership: ACS-Italy, ENEA-Italy

Source of Funding: MIUR

Role of NRD: partner

Scientific responsible: Prof. G. Ghiglieri (for WP4.4)

NRD members and staff involved: Dr. A Carletti, Dr. R. Pinna, Dr. A. Vigo, Dr. N. Demurtas; Dr. V. Colombo, Dr. C. Zucca

Short description: RIADE is the most important Italian projects on desertification. It aims at providing public administration in charge for land development planning with suitable decision support system tools. Its methodological approach is highly innovative and it aims at improving the understanding of the cause-effect relationship of desertification processes, setting up innovative procedures and data processing methods for mapping and monitoring desertification phenomena, developing mathematical models for numerical simulation of the desertification processes, building a Decision Support System (DSS) as a tool to support the local administration policy making. A master degree named F-RIADE is associated to the research project activities. This complies to the need for a methodological and technological qualification of the researchers engaged in the environmental sustainable management in vulnerable areas.


Project web site: http://www.riade.net/



Title and acronym: Restoration actions to combat desertification in the northern Mediterranean - REACTION

Dates: from January 2003 to December 2005

Location: France, Greece, Italy, Portugal, Spain

Partnership: FUNDACION CEAM-Spain, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki-Greece, ISA-Portugal, IAMZ-Spain, Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique-CEFE -France, WWF-France

Source of Funding:

Role of NRD: partner

Scientific responsible:

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Short description: REACTION was a EU accompanying measure whose general objective was to facilitate access to high quality information for forest managers, scientists, policy-makers and other stakeholders, providing tools for the promotion of techniques and initiatives for sustainable mitigation actions. It aimed at establishing a data base on land restoration to fight desertification by inventorying well-documented restoration projects in the Northern Mediterranean; it also aimed at exploiting the research results produced in projects on restoration, and especially those of the EC Programmes, to select the most appropriate methodology to evaluate the results of restoration projects, and at providing restoration guidelines in the light of a critical analysis of past and innovative techniques.


Project web site: http://www.gva.es/ceam/reaction



Title and acronym: Combating Desertification in Mediterranean Europe: Linking Science with Stakeholders - DESERTLINKS

Dates: from December 2001 to November 2004

Location: Alentejo (Portugal), Guadalentín (Spain), Agri (Italy) and Lesvos (Greece)

Partnership: King's College London-UK, University of Basilicata-Italy, EC Environmental Change- The Netherlands, University of Leeds-UK, Agricultural University of Athens-Greece, University of Murcia-Spain, Direccion General de Conservacion de la Naturaleza-Spain, Universidade Nova de Lisboa-Portugal, EC-JRC-Italy.

Source of Funding: European Commission - Framework Programme 5

Role of NRD: partner

NRD Scientific responsible:

NRD members and staff involved:

Short description: this project foresaw extensive collaboration with local stakeholders in desertification affected regions in order to identify: impact indicators relating to perceptions of land function; driving force and pressure indicators relating to decision making; and response indicators relating to land management measures taken to combat desertification. A conceptual and database framework was developed for these indicators as well as for other indicators identified in the project. Composite indicators were developed combining indicators identified by the stakeholders with bio-physical and socio-economic state indicators already developed for Mediterranean Europe. Together they formed an environmentally sensitive area identification system, for use at the sub-national scale. The indicators of different scale and type were combined into a desertification indicator system for Mediterranean Europe. A close collaboration with both local stakeholders and the National Committees was set up to test the application of the indicator system to new regions and to validate the local identification of high risk areas and the implications of local scenario analyses. Finally the experiences gained in both the testing and validation were formulated into guidelines for the UNCCD on the development and use of indicators to manage desertification.


Project web site: http://www.kcl.ac.uk/projects/desertlinks/


Title and acronym: Mediterranean Desertification and Land Use

Dates: from January 1996 to December 1998

Location: Portugal, Spain, Italy and Greece.


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Short description: The MEDALUS III project was an international research project with the general aim to investigate the relationship between desertification and land use in Mediterranean Europe. It continued the research activities begun in MEDALUS I and II.


Project web site:


Title and acronym: Mediterranean Desertification and Land Use - MEDALUS II

Dates: from 1993 to 1994

Location: Portugal, Spain, Italy and Greece


Source of Funding:

Role of NRD: partner

Scientific responsible:

NRD members and staff involved:

Short description: The MEDALUS II project was an international research project with the general aim of investigating the relationship between desertification and land use in Mediterranean Europe. It continued the research activities begun in MEDALUS I.


Project web site:

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