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World Atlas of Desertification (WAD)

“Mapping Land Degradation and Sustainable Land Management Opportunities”

A new World Atlas of Desertification – WAD – is being compiled under the coordination of the Joint Research Centre (JRC) of the European Commission, in partnership with the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and a network of international experts. The third edition of the WAD will be available as both a published reference atlas and an online digital information portal.

The new World Atlas of Desertification builds on recent scientific advancements, and aims to be a pragmatic exercise and example of the implementation of up-to-date concepts of land degradation.

The WAD is to be the foundation for better addressing and including desertification and land degradation in the newly defined sustainable development goals (SDGs) and strategies on food security, resource efficiency, emission schemes, development and poverty reduction.

An introductory brochure can be downloaded and provides a short overview on the concept, issues and processes that can lead to land degradation and some local examples that reflect global patterns. 



Land Degradation





Michael Cherlet

Land Resource Management Unit

Institute for Environment and Sustainability

European Commission, Joint Research Centre

Via Fermi 2749, TP 440

I-21027 Ispra (VA), ITALY


Tel : +39 0332 789982
Fax : +39 0332-789982