Science and policy to combat desertification: The institutional response to a global challenge

Víctor M. Castillo Sánchez


Desertification is a controversial concept whose nature, extent, causes, and potential solutions are still debated. This paper reviews the arguments put forward for considering desertification a global environmental challenge. We also analyse the institutional response within the United Nations system, especially that of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD). Thus, the most significant elements of the desertification debate are analysed with respect to their scientific and political dimensions. The text concludes by discussing the need to establish an integrated framework for assessing and responding to desertification that is validated by a science-policy interface.


UNCCD; drylands; land degradation; drought; science-policy interface

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