ASAL: Space-based information to fight desertification

Africa is especially vulnerable to land degradation, droughts and desertification. The Algeria Space Agency, which hosts one of UN-SPIDER's Regional Support Offices, has supported a recent workshop on "Desertification and land degradation in Africa" in Alger organised jointly by the Algerian Ministry for Agriculture and Rural Development and the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD). The workshop aimed at African journalists and environment specialists.

ASAL contributed by pointing out the usefulness of space-based information to fight land degradation, desertification and droughts. They presented a national vulnerability map using satellite imagery from 1996 and 2009 and explained how desertification can be tracked with the use of satellite imagery. This map helped the National Forestry Agency as a decision making tool to put into action their fight against desertification. ASAL also presented how tracking desertification helps to prepare counter-actions, to identify agricultural and steppe zones or to keep track of forest fires.

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