Afforestation in Drylands
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.
The agro-ecology sessions will include issues regarding the impacts of intensive agriculture on natural environments and resources, such as soil, water, and air, and on the biodiversity of organisms, in the nearby natural areas and within agricultural systems. The issues addressed will also include factors from agronomy, ecology, sociology, economics and related disciplines, and efficient food production per natural input in arid and semiarid zones.
Degradation Processes and Actions to Combat Desertification in Mongolia and China
Considerable attention has been given to desertification processes in China and Mongolia since vast areas of sandy deserts are located in the cold Asian deserts that are characterized by arid and semi-arid climates where the annual precipitation is below 500 mm. The reasons for this land degradation include, on one hand, human activities such as overgrazing, logging, mining, expanding farms, and population pressure, and on the other hand, climate factors such as droughts, increasing temperatures, and severe sand and dust storms. However, this region has also experienced various actions to combat desertification, undertaken by the government and local residents, including the ground and air-seeding of trees, bushes, and grasses over large areas and the construction of long windbreaks, shelterbelts, barriers, and pastureland enclosures, as well as the introduction of chemical mulching and hydrologic solutions.
Drip Irrigation (main theme of Desert Agriculture this year)
Can drip irrigation solve global water and food crises?
The world is facing two serious interdependent crises; a water crisis and a food crisis. These crises are a result of the proliferation of world population and the economic improvement in many developing countries.
World food demand is expected to increase by more than 50% over the next 40 years.
Irrigation is crucial to the global food supply: 18 percent of the world’s farmland that is irrigated yields 40 percent of the world’s food needs and uses 70% of total available fresh water.
The supply of additional food will be carried out through intensification of agriculture production; mostly by increasing irrigation efficiency and by moving agriculture into less productive drylands.
Drip irrigation can double or triple water productivity – boosting crop per drop – alleviating both the world water and food crises.
In spite of this, only 4 percent of the world’s irrigated land is equipped with drip-irrigation systems.
Our objective is to exploit the 2014 DDD conference in order to bring awareness of the role drip irrigation in solving the world water and food crises to the international community.
The meetings will demonstrate that recent breakthroughs are allowing the profitable irrigation of rice, sugar cane and other major field crops with significant saving in water and significant increases in yield. It will also show how low pressure drip systems are helping small farmers to get out of poverty. The meetings will provide a forum to discuss and evaluate economic, social-cultural, agronomic and environmental aspects of drip irrigation and its role in today’s world.
Drip Irrigation Themes for Drylands, Deserts and Desertification 2014
· The roles of drip irrigation in the alleviation of water and food crises
· The economics of drip irrigation
· Sub-surface drip irrigation
· Low pressure drip irrigation
· Drip irrigation for small farmers in developing countries
· Innovative approaches to drip irrigation
· Chemigation, Fertigation
· Drip irrigation with saline water
· Drip irrigation with recycled water
· Drip irrigation of rice
· Drip irrigation of field crops
· Drip irrigation of horticultural crops
· Landscaping with drip irrigation
· Environmental aspects of drip irrigation
We invite you to participate in this exciting event and to contribute from your experience to its success.
For more information please contact us:
Dr. Naftali Lazarovitch is a professor and researcher at the Wyler Department for Dryland Agriculture, French Associates Institute for Agriculture and Biotechnology of Drylands, Jacob Blaustein Institutes for Desert Research, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev. He received his PhD in 2006 from the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. His main research interests are creating a better understanding of water flow and solute transport in the soil-plant-atmosphere system, increasing agricultural water use efficiency using optimal irrigation and fertigation scheduling and modeling (numerical and analytical), measurements and interpretation of water flow and solute transport in the root and vadose zone. His work has been published in more than thirty journal articles.
Dr. Dov Pasternak is a Professor Emeritus from the Ben Gurion University of the Negev.
In 1964 he was among the first pioneers who introduced the drip irrigation system to the Arava valley of Israel. Over a period of 30 years he developed the basis for irrigation with saline water using drip irrigation.
In 1998 he started the development of the low pressure drip irrigation system for small African farmers called the African Market Garden and during a period of 10 years he lead the dissemination of this system in dry West Africa countries.
Prof. Pasternak working at ICRISAT-Niger developed new production systems and new crops for the semi arid regions of Africa. Author of 66 articles in peer reviewed journals and book chapters.
Currently he is serving as an international adviser on agricultural development of dry regions.
Dr. Alon Ben-Gal is a senior researcher in the Department of Environmental Physics and Irrigation, Institute of Soil, Water and Environmental Sciences, The Agricultural Research Organization, Gilat Research Center, Israel. Dr. Ben-Gal's interests may be best described as: "X-treme agriculture: managing water in the arid zones".
He works extensively with drip irrigation with research and expertise including: irrigation of crops; agricultural utilization of saline water and of recycled wastewater; optimization of water under irrigation in arid regions; plant response to environmental stress conditions; and flow and transport of water and solutes in the vadose zone. He enjoys active multi-disciplinary regional and multi-national collaboration on topics promoting agricultural water use efficiency and is the author of over 60 peer reviewed journal articles and book chapters.
Dryland landscapes as pattern forming systems: modeling and analysis
Co-conveners, Ehud Meron (firstname.lastname@example.org) and Golan Bel (email@example.com)
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.
Ecohydrology of dryland landscapes
Co-conveners, Ehud Meron (firstname.lastname@example.org) and Golan Bel (email@example.com)
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 (firstname.lastname@example.org) and Orit Ben-Zvi Assaraf (email@example.com)
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.
Geological Aspects of Deserts and Desertification
Government Policy Relating to Climate Change and Regulation
Green Building in Extreme Climates
Historical Aspects of Desertification
Land Degradation Neutral World
Mathematical aspects of desertification and restoration
Desertification is commonly viewed as a dynamical transition from a productive stable state to an alternative less productive stable state. The transition can be induced by an environmental change or by a disturbance, and becomes feasible near an instability point of the productive state. The session will address mathematical aspects of such transitions, taking into account the possibility of the productive state being spatially patterned. Questions to be addressed include mechanisms of desertification, warning signals for imminent desertification and restoration of desertified areas. The session will also address field observations of vegetation patterns and pattern dynamics, and attempt confronting model predictions with empirical data.
Convener, Ehud Zion-Waldoks (firstname.lastname@example.org)
What role does environmental journalism play in the success and failure of public environmental campaigns? Should the environmental journalist be an advocate for the environment or an educated observer? These questions and others will be addressed in this panel of environmental journalists who bring, perhaps, a wider perspective on the public face of the fight against desertification and other environmental debates. This session will be held in conjunction with the Foreign Ministry’s MASHAV Center in Haifa, which offers courses on communications.
Natural Capital and Ecosystem Services in Drylands
NGO Perspectives on Dryland Development
On-site Waste Collection and Treatment (liquid, sludge, solid) in Rural Areas
Public Health and Life in Deserts & Drylands
Co-conveners, Maya Negev (email@example.com) and Nadav Davidovich (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Session 1: Ecosystem services and health
Earth’s ecosystems are fundamental to human well-being and health, as defined by the WHO as not simply an absence of illness or disease, but as a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being (UK National Ecosystem Assessment, 2011). In this panel, we invite papers analyzing the diverse influences on the human health of ecosystem services, with an emphasis on drylands and deserts.
Session 2: Environment, health and social justice in arid areas
Social and economic inequalities have a deep influence on public health, including environmental health. These inequalities are intensified in arid areas, due to extreme environmental and ecological conditions, intensified by climate change. We invite papers discussing these aspects, with a focus on indigenous populations.
Session 3: Infectious diseases
Desertification and climate changes have had an important influence on the emergence and reemergence of infectious diseases. We invite papers that discuss the different factors affecting infectious diseases from an ecohealth perspective, including human, biological, ecological and social determinants. Studies presenting policy implications, including a science-policy interface discussion, are also encouraged.
Session 4: Climate change and health
Climate change is already impacting human health in ways that differ across continents, ecosystems, socio-economic statuses and populations. This panel invites papers on current and predicted increases in phenomena such as heatwaves, cold-spells, food poverty, water supplies, air quality and aeroallergens, with an emphasis on deserts. Papers discussing policy implications, both mitigation and adaptation, at all governance levels, are also welcome.
Workshop: indigenous populations, public participation, qualitative research
With Prof. Colin MacDaugall, details to follow.
Convener, Arnon Karnieli (email@example.com
Environmental problems of drylands, such as desertification processes, land degradation and rehabilitation, land cover and land use change, climatic change, droughts, early warning, and more, are characterized by both spatial and temporal dimensions. Therefore, remote sensing techniques, based on long-term monitoring and repetitive data, over vast expanses of unsettled regions, are applicative and powerful tools for research and implementation in these areas
River & Stream Restoration
Society & Technology: The Challenge of Implementing New Technologies
Soil and Land Restoration
This session will focus on the following themes:
Effect of overgrazing on soil quality and restoration procedures - Overgrazing is one of the most important causes of land deterioration in arid regions. Overgrazing exposes the soil to erosion and increases runoff and flood damages. Case studies of overgrazing-induced damage, grazing regimes intended to minimize such damage and protocols to reclaim land damaged by overgrazing;
Maintaining soil productivity under irrigation with marginal waters - Agriculture in arid and semi-arid regions is often supported by irrigation with water of marginal quality. Low quality water, and in particular saline water, may bring about a reduction in the productivity of the irrigated land. Cases of irrigated valleys that turned into salt plateaus are reported periodically from various regions of the globe. Means to prevent deterioration in soil quality and to reclaim deteriorated soils under irrigation with marginal water - of various types (e.g., treated effluent, saline water);
Soil conservation under shifting climatic conditions - The predicted forthcoming climatic shift (Global warming) will have, most likely, a particularly strong effect on semi-arid regions, since a relatively small change in precipitation rate or in frequency and intensity of rain events in those regions may make arable land unsuitable for cultivation, if proper actions are not taken. Such actions may include importing water for irrigation from outside the region or taking steps to prevent erosion. Measures needed to be taken if predictions arising from the most commonly considered global warming scenarios come true, to prevent deterioration of soil quality or to restore the land's quality once damaged.
Women & Economic Change in Rural-Arid Regions
Literature on economic anthropology has shown that the shift in economic patterns from dependence on subsistence economies to dependence on market economies has changed women's roles within these societies. In rural settings, women who were productive and active participants in the group’s economic life were compelled to either alter their traditional roles or to decrease their productive activity to a considerable extent. With the introduction of a modern cash economy, some women lost their productive role within the family altogether (Feinberg, 1986; Morvaridi, 1992; Brockington, 2001). While men usually found jobs outside the domestic sphere, in the public work force, women, who were unable to do the same, found novel ways of modifying their traditional roles in order to maintain their contribution to the group’s economy.