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Land Degradation Assessment and Prevention: Selected Case Studies from the ESCWA Region

The present report attempts to address some of the critical issues that policymakers, administrators, staff and stakeholders involved in combating and preventing land degradation may be confronted with when determining the successful implementation of related programmes. The report reviews some of the processes that can help to determine whether a programme implemented in selected countries in the region is successful or not. There is strong evidence that well-planned and well-implemented programmes to combat land degradation bring greater benefits to stakeholders and local communities at large. The evidence can be supported by a review of selected programmes and projects in which the major concern was to increase productivity and to enhance living conditions in the face of adverse climate, drought, fragile soils, inappropriate natural resource management practices, and other environmental concerns. In innovative programmes and projects, stakeholders and members of communities are embracing new practices that are substantially improving their productive capacity, their income levels in general, and their living conditions in particular, often without reliance on complex technologies or schemes.

Critical issues confronting policymakers, administrators, staff and stakeholders in combating and preventing land degradation are assessed in this review, with particular emphasis on determining the successful implementation of programmes. The causes and impact of land degradation are examined, the usefulness of programmes is judged and stakeholder participation is assessed. Case studies are presented from Egypt, Jordan, the Syrian Arab Republic and the United Arab Emirates and action-oriented recommendations on successful interventions are suggested.

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