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NATO - CCMS and Science Committee Workshop on Desertification in the Mediterranean Region. A Security Issue

Desertification in the Mediterranean Region (click image to view larger size)A “Workshop on Desertification in the Mediterranean Region. A Security Issue” was held in Valencia, Spain on 2-5 December 2003; it was sponsored by the NATO Science Committee and NATO Committee on the Challenges of Modern Society.

The workshop resulted in a book publication which focused on two basic concepts: security and desertification in the Mediterranean Region and their linkages.

Desertification is recognized as a process of land degradation in arid, semi-arid, and dry sub-humid areas of the world that is the result of natural phenomena (e.g. climate variation) and anthropogenic factors. The outcome of this type of degradation has typically been considered to be either a reduction or a loss of both biological and economic productivity.

The scope of the book includes the identification of the physical processes of desertification specific to both the north and south Mediterranean Region. Additionally, it specifically questions how changing environmental conditions may potentially reduce stability and peace in the world and thus affect “environmental security.”

The book is divided into six special topical areas dealing with:

  1. Linking Environmental Condition to Security

  2. Assessing Regional Conditions

  3. Assessing Land Use Change Relative to Human-induced and Natural Cause

  4. Opportunities for Regional Cooperation and Information Sharing

  5. Soil and Vegetation Monitoring

  6. Development of Regional Desertification Indicators and Forecasting Techniques

During the workshop an array of government diplomats, security specialists, and social and physical scientists from the Middle East, North Africa, Europe, and North America reviewed the actions of past and current Mediterranean land use practices. Their focus was environmental security, environmental consequences, and challenges for the future. This book provides a multi-lateral forum for continued cooperation, information exchange, and dialogue among the environmental, development, foreign and security policy communities within the Mediterranean Region. It may provide a precedent for further cooperation and partnership, including other more advanced conferences and publications, on assessing the condition of the entire region and the subsequent impacts and linkages to environmental security.

Advance Publication Notice (information on how to order)

Desertification in the Mediterranean Region. A Security Issue. 2005. W.G. Kepner, J.L. Rubio, D.A. Mouat, and F. Pedrazzini (Eds.). NATO Security through Science Series, Volume 3, 605p., Springer Publishers, Germany. ISBN HB 1-4020-3758-9/ISBN PB 1-4020-3759-7.


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