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INTERNATIONAL WORKSHOP ON LAND DEGRADATION, LAND USE DECISION AND ENVIRONMENT IN THE DEVELOPING COUNTRIES

INTERNATIONAL WORKSHOP ON LAND DEGRADATION, LAND USE DECISION AND ENVIRONMENT IN THE DEVELOPING COUNTRIES Science Land degradation affects more than 1900 million hectares of land word-wide, including 65% of the region’s agricultural land. This international event will bring together experts from different fields to facilitate sharing of information on various aspects of land degradation. Land degradation is affecting more than 1900 million hectares of land word-wide, including 65% of the region’s agricultural land. The rate at which arable land is being lost is increasing and is currently 30-35 times the previous rate. The loss of potential productivity due to soil erosion world-wide is estimated to be equivalent to some 20 million tons of grains per year. The causes of land degradation are mainly anthropogenic and agriculture related, which include land clearance, deforestation, depletion of soil nutrients, urban conversion, irrigation and pollution. Land degradation affects the earth’s arability, thus reducing the wealth and economic development of nations. It lowers the agricultural production and cancels out gains advanced by improved crop yield. Food security is compromised and competition for dwindling resources increases as the land resource base becomes less productive. Thus a downward eco-social spiral is created when marginal lands are nutrient depleted by unsustainable land management practices resulting in loss of soil stability and leading to permanent damage. The effects of land degradation often have more significant impacts on water courses, viz., rivers, wetlands and lakes. Land degradation therefore has potentially disastrous impacts on lakes and reservoirs that are designed to alleviate flooding, provide irrigation and generate hydro-power. In the developing and developed worlds alike, the expansion of urban areas and infrastructure is encroaching on productive land and natural habitats. The environment, especially in urban areas, is so polluted that it often poses a danger to human health. Resolution of land use conflicts is essential for sustainable development. Identifying the causes of land-use change requires understanding both how people make land-use decisions (decision-making processes) and how specific environmental and social factors interact to influence these decisions (decision-making context). It is also very important to understand that land use decisions are made and influenced by social and environmental factors across a wide range of spatial scales - from household level decisions that influence local land use practices to policies and economic forces that can alter land use regionally and even globally. In order to acquaint the scientists, researchers, academicians and policy makers who are engaged in the work on land degradation and land use policies, the NAM S&T Centre plans to organize an international workshop on ‘Land Degradation, Land Use Decision and Environment in the Developing Countries’ at Izmir, Turkey during 16-20 April 2008 in association with the Centre for Environmental Studies, Ege University, Izmir, Turkey and the Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey (TÜBITAK) for specialists and experts from the member countries of the NAM S&T Centre and other developing countries. This international scientific event will bring together the experts from different fields from universities as well as private sector in order to facilitate sharing of information on various aspects of land degradation, exchange the country specific information about the land degradation, land use decisions and environment, seek possibilities for cross country projects among NAM member countries and promote scientist-to-scientist contact and interactions For more information, please contact: Prof. Arun P. Kulshreshtha Director Centre for Science & Technology of the Non-Aligned and other Developing Countries (NAM S&T Centre), Core 6A, 2nd Floor, India Habitat Centre Lodhi Road, New Delhi-110003 (India) Ph: +91-11-24645134 or 24644974 Fax: +91-11-24644973 E-mail: namstct@gmail.com, namstct@bol.net.in Website: www.namstct.org Associated websites: http://www.namstct.org

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