Nov. 17, 2020

The 2020 Drylands, Deserts & Desertification Conference (DDD) has kicked off at BGU and will address one of the most pressing worldwide issues, "Feeding the Drylands: Challenges in a Changing Environment." More than 40% of the Earth's landmass is considered drylands, and that percentage rises every year.

The world's largest desertification-focused conference is being held virtually from November 16-18, 2020. Nearly 2,000 people have registered from 103 countries, including new Israeli ally, the United Arab Emirates, and perennial adversary, Iran. The number of registrants has quadrupled since the previous DDD conference.

Organized by the Jacob Blaustein Institutes for Desert Research (BIDR) at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, the conference brings together more than 160 top researchers and practitioners in the field from around the world. Registration is free.

The conference is affiliated with the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD). UNCCD Executive Secretary Ibrahim Thiaw will deliver opening remarks.

The DDD Conference has become a seminal event for those interested in the techniques, policies and practices of combating desertification.

Prof. Noam Weisbrod, director of the Jacob Blaustein Institutes for Desert Research says, "The DDD conference has grown to be the most important and influential conference in the world to deal with sustainability, environmental issues, water scarcity and food security in drylands. In light of the severe global changes the world is facing and their dramatic influence on drylands in general and on the developing countries in particular, the DDD is more significant than ever before."

The conference will delve into key newsworthy topics unfolding today and will address some of the following topics:

● What is the connection between the climate crisis and desertification, and are humans solely responsible for the crisis? 

● What is the connection between desertification and the COVID-19 pandemic? How does desertification affect the food on our plate, and will our nutrition change entirely in another 30 years? 

● How is the Israeli Negev producing world-class wines in a desert environment and what are its researchers doing to help the wine industry worldwide? 

● Can desertification, such as that which is expected to turn Southern Europe into drylands in just two decades, be stopped? 

● What policies, technologies, and initiatives are needed?

According to Prof. Shimon Rachmilevitch, DDD Conference Chair, "The causes and consequences of desertification affect every creature on the planet, from Acacia trees to the coronavirus, to people. The importance of researching and understanding desertification is part and parcel of understanding climate change. This international conference, sponsored by the UN, is the most important stage in the world to hear, be heard, learn, and draw conclusions which will benefit humanity and the planet."

Click here for the schedule and speaker topics.

About The International Conference on Drylands, Deserts and Desertification (DDD)
The 7th DDD Conference, being presented by Ben-Gurion University of the Negev in Sde Boker Israel, will focus on Feeding the Drylands. Additional sessions will be held on a broad range of topics associated with meeting this challenge in our changing environment including food, water, energy, ecosystems and societies. The International Conference on Drylands, Deserts and Desertification (DDD) has emerged as an important global gathering of scientists, practitioners, industry and government representatives and decision-makers, members of CSOs, NGOs, and international development aid agencies and other stakeholders from over 60 countries concerned about land and environmental degradation in drylands and living conditions in and around them, as well as their sustainable use and development. For more information.

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