Land degradation assessment and prevention: selected case studies from the ESCWA region | Land Portal

Informations sur la ressource

Date of publication: 
janvier 2007
Resource Language: 
ISBN / Resource ID: 

This report looks at possible ways for policy-makers and decision-takers to combat and/or prevent land degradation in the Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA) region, both generally and specifically in the following countries: Egypt, Jordan, Syria and the United Arab Emirates (UAE). The report begins by reviewing the extent, causes and impact of land degradation and examines the complexity of assessing land degradation programmes. It emphasises that successful programmes should entail certain criteria that would enable their stakeholders to judge easily their usefulness and to encourage their active participation in programme activities. The major criterion is predictability, which emphasises the issues of credibility, stability and formal entitlements; promoting collective action and a participatory approach; and ensuring that the programmes should be replicable and/or transferable to new environments while still being implemented successfully.   The following case studies are used to illustrate these points: the Egyptian North-west Delta - traditionally a range land area but now facing coastal erosion and salinisation, mostly as a result of the increasing urbanisation process two programmes/projects in Jordan, namely: the Al-Karak Agricultural Resource Management Project located in the south central highlands; and the Yarmouk River Basin project in an agricultural area highly affected by land degradation the Syrian Arab Republic range land area of the Bishri Mountains, located in a semi-arid to arid Badia zone and intensely affected by land degradation due to inadequate land management practices the Ras Al-Khaimah Emirate in the north of the United Arab Emirates, which is mostly arid and affected by salinisation, moving sand dunes and water depletion The paper finds that there are a number of supportive elements which improve land degradation prevention. These include: encouragement of including local knowledge in policy planning use of strong well-planned, well-supported public institutions coordination between different stakeholdersIn conclusion, the paper notes that the ESCWA has developed a methodological framework to assess land degradation, which has so far been applied in Jordan and Lebanon. It is suggested that the framework could assist member countries in regularly identifying areas affected by land degradation, or “hot spots”, and areas responding well to measures of combating land degradation, or “bright spots”. A brief overview of the ESCWA framework is provided.

Auteurs et éditeurs


The five regional commissions were created by the United Nations in order to fulfil the economic and social goals set out in the Charter by promoting cooperation and integration between countries in each region of the world. Those commissions are: the Economic Commission for Europe (ECE, established in 1947); the Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP, 1947); the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC, 1948); the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA, 1958); and the Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA, 1973).


Fournisseur de données

Partagez cette page