Co-conveners, Itzhak Moshe (ItzhakM@kkl.org.il) and David Brand (DavidB@kkl.org.il)
The session will focus on demonstrating case studies of successful experiences as related to afforestation as a means to combat desertification, reduce land degradation and enhance ecosystem services for the benefit of people in drylands.
Conveners, Guedi Capeluto (email@example.com) and David Pearlmutter (firstname.lastname@example.org) People spend a significant part of their lives indoor. As such, the indoor environment and its quality have a decisive effect on human wellbeing, health, productivity, and potentially also on morbidity and mortality. Trends of urbanization in developing countries, densification and high rise construction, urban pollution and the urban heat island effect, become especially problematic when combined with climatic extremes and a growing climatic uncertainty, alongside desertification processes, bringing the desert on the edge or inside previously temperate environments.In developed countries, some 40% of all energy is consumed for heating, cooling, and making buildings habitable. When the energy costs of building construction and materials, on the one hand, and urban transportation, on the other, are added to this basic load, it becomes clear that most of society’s energy use and comfort conditions inside and around buildings are influenced by the work of architects and planners. But the use of conventional energy sources is known to have adverse effects on the environment and human health.The 2014 Cook Workshop aims at reviewing constraints and trends, among them environmental climatic and social ones, which should affect planning, design and construction policies and practices. The repercussions on the livability of buildings and settlements, and the survivability and resilience potential of communities in arid regions may well be at risk. Thus, for many countries, high-performance green building (and the standards that encourage this) are not a luxury to be adopted in the future once more pressing constraints are eased, but, rather, a critical development goal to lessen these constraints and allow a viable path into a livable future.The workshop will cover topics of green architecture and healthy buildings, climate and energy related regulation, issues of urbanization and sustainable development, with special focus on drylands and deserts.
Convener Elli Groner (email@example.com)Climate change has been seen as the main threat to life in deserts and their surrounding areas. Decreased precipitation can have severe impacts on the ecosystems, livelihood and health in deserts. While areas surrounding deserts can turn into deserts due to desertification, it is the areas in the heart of deserts that are severely damaged due to the decrease in rainfall. In this session, several examples of climate change and its impact on agriculture and livelihood in desert areas will be presented.
Co-conveners Elli Groner (firstname.lastname@example.org) and Shirli Bar-David (email@example.com)Is there anything special about desert ecology or is it just another branch of ecology ? From semi-arid to hyper-arid regions, desert ecosystems are driven by water shortages. This session will address plant adaptations to deserts, the ecosystem structure and function in drylands and how they shape the human communities that live there.
Convener, Haim Goldfus (firstname.lastname@example.org)
The sessions under the above heading will focus on two subjects. The first one will deal with the various meanings and reflections of the term 'Desert/Dry-Lands' and its derivatives, in ancient texts such as the Bible and early Christian literature. The second subject will cover the existence and interpretation of different kinds of archaeological remains found in desert environments from the Negev Desert to the Great Wall of China.
Can drip irrigation solve global water and food crises?
Co-conveners, Ehud Meron (email@example.com) and Golan Bel (firstname.lastname@example.org)
There is increasing evidence that self-organization induced by biomass-water feedbacks plays an important role in shaping dryland landscapes. Model studies have provided much insight into the mechanisms by which positive feedbacks can render uniform vegetation unstable and lead to the formation of vegetation patterns. Yet, the mechanisms at work in specific systems and the interplay between different mechanisms have remained largely unexplored. This session will bring together experts in modeling and in model analysis, as well as field and remote sensing experts, to present recent progress in understanding vegetation pattern formation and the implications it bears on ecosystem processes and function.
Co-conveners, Ehud Meron (email@example.com) and Golan Bel (firstname.lastname@example.org)
The process of desertification, in which ecosystems undergo a significant reduction in bioproductivity, is often related to changes in the temporal and spatial distribution of precipitation and other water sources. Many theoretical and experimental works have been devoted to the improvement of our understanding of ecosystem dynamics. However, in many of these studies, the spatio-temporal dynamics of water and the feedbacks between hydrological processes and other ecological processes are not considered in detail. The goal of this session is to bring together scientists from various disciplines in order to present recent advancements in ecohydrology research and to encourage interdisciplinary interactions that may lead to better modeling and understanding of ecosystem responses to global and local changes in the water resources and, in particular, that may improve our quantitative understanding of the desertification process.
Co-conveners, Noa Avriel-Avni (email@example.com) and Orit Ben-Zvi Assaraf (firstname.lastname@example.org) The aim of this workshop is to initiate a dialogue between researchers and educators from the fields of dryland environment and environmental education, in order to understand the conditions necessary for resilient desert-social-ecological systems (SECS) and the role of environmental education (EE) in achieving this resilience. The basic premise of the workshop is that close and continuous relations between environmental educators (teachers and researchers) and drylands scientists are required to support resilient dryland social-ecological systems. The extreme conditions and threat of desertification in dryland environments intensify the uncertainty and instability of both traditional and modern social systems. Open discussion of sustainability in such extreme environment is therefore vital for defining the challenges faced by dryland social-ecological systems worldwide. Combining local focus together with positioning within regional and global processes can yield local insights on place-based education and lead to better spatial understanding of the challenges. The alliance between educators and dryland researchers will also help to establish a broad corpus of educational methods based on general environmental and education theories. The workshop will facilitate the integration of knowledge from worldwide drylands in order to formulate guiding research questions for the development of such educational methods and for evaluating their influence on dryland sustainability.
Co-conveners, Dov Chernichovsky (email@example.com) and Hendrik Bruins (firstname.lastname@example.org)
The challenges of growing sustainable and resistant food to secure food supplies in the face of growing demand, on the one hand, and threats to supply, on the other, are pervasive especially in developing countries. Augmented food, which can grow with less water and fewer resources, shows promise to produce food even when conditions would not allow their growth in traditional and changing settings; it is important for food sources to be able to withstand deteriorating land, water supply, and environmental factors. The session demonstrates that through research on different strains of foods, according to a variety of naturally occurring variables, food sources can be chosen and managed so as to meet these challenges.
Co-conveners, Maya Negev (email@example.com) and Nadav Davidovich (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Convener, Yaakov Garb (email@example.com) Various technologies have played a central role in agriculture in developing countries, and those in arid regions in particular. Considerable efforts revolve around the generation, “transfer,” and uptake of these technologies from one setting to another, often from developed to developing countries. In this panel, we will consolidate some of the recent thinking on socio-technical systems, socio-technical change, and the role of agricultural extension, so as to present and deepen an emerging new perspective, emphasizing co-design and “translation,”, rather than dissemination or transfer, as well as processes of farm level innovation and lateral learning, and consider how these can inform more creative and equitable approaches to the value chain by which technologies are developed, modified, and brought into use.
Convenors: Sharon B. Megdal (firstname.lastname@example.org) and Alon Tal (email@example.com)Through studies from across the globe, this session explores opportunities and obstacles to addressing complex water resource challenges of the drylands. For river systems as diverse as the Jordan and Colorado, the common factors to policy and management options provide insights into the similarities and divergences of their respective future pathways. Experience with transboundary aquifer assessment along the United States-Mexico border demonstrates the progress that can be made in assessing shared aquifers when the framework and institutional setting for cooperation are in place, along with the obstacles posed by insufficient funding. The criticality and challenges of groundwater monitoring to determine the potential for the coexistence of uranium extraction and protection riverine ecosystems in Namibia are explored, where anthropogenic factors and complex natural dynamics must modeled. For the transboundary Illi River basin, land use changes associated over time and their implications for water resources and ecosystem services are explored; adverse impacts to the Illi Delta, home to the largest wetland complex in Central Asia are indicated.
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