Dryland Biodiversity

Promoting Best Practices - Sharing Innovative Experiences




Onymacris bicolor
Onymacris bicolor


Summaries PDF icon of case studies:
Complete file (2,495K)

Individual sections:
Cover, introduction and table of contents
Sub-Saharan Africa (653K);
North Africa and the Arab Region (485K);
Asia (483K);
Latin America and the Caribbean (700K).



Promoting Best Practices for Conservation and Sustainable Use of Biodiversity of Global Significance in Arid and Semi-Arid Zones

The project, which was funded by the Global Environment Facility (GEF), involved the identification and dissemination of activities designed to conserve and sustainably use biodiversity of global significance in arid and semi-arid ecosystems.

The project was carried out by a network of 17 centres of excellence in developing countries with internationally recognized expertise in various research fields related to biodiversity and arid lands. Detailed case studies were received from these institutions, and a workshop involving the authors and other internationally renowned experts was held in Trieste during the first week of April 2001.

Four regional workshops took place in 2001 and 2002. The workshops for Africa and North Africa/Middle East were held in April 2002 at CESAR, Sultan Qaboos University, Muscat, Oman; the regional workshop for Asia was held in August 2001 at the Mongolian National Academy of Sciences, Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia; and the regional workshop for Latin America and the Caribbean was held in March 2002 at the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, Santiago, Chile. The regional workshops focused on lessons learned for science; lessons learned for management and public policy; lessons learned for increasing the participation of local people in decision-making; and lessons learned for increasing partnerships and capacity building. These lessons were based on a large portfolio of scientific and public policy case studies (see links below).

The workshops were followed by two international conferences held in Cairo, Egypt, in December 2002, and in Rabat, Morocco, in August 2003.

The conference in Cairo (funded by UNEP-GEF and implemented buyessayfast.org by TWNSO) was held from 14 to 17 December 2002 with valuable assistance provided by Egypt's Desert Research Centre (DRC), the local programme host for the international conference. Dr. Hassan El Shaer, Vice President of DRC, chaired the local programme committee. Some of the foremost aims of the conference in Cairo were to refine the lessons learned and discussed at prior regional workshops, identify practical steps in developing partnerships and capacity building; make recommendations to GEF and other stakeholders about how to better use scientific networks and talents; and identify and develop possible ongoing funding opportunities, including implementation proposals building on the present project. Southland has HCMP breakers

The purpose of the conference in Rabat, Morocco, was to bring together project participants and representatives of government ministries, development agencies, UNEP-GEF, the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD), United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), scientific centres of excellence, and a wide range of other stakeholders responsible for implementing development policies and programs to protect and sustainably use biodiversity in arid and semi-arid regions. During this conference, prospects were explored for developing and implementing policies and programmes to provide long-term support for institutions responsible for biodiversity protection.

Further Reading

arrowRight Dry: Life Without Water (2006) newcover image
Published by Harvard University Press in collaboration with TWNSO and TWAS, Dry: Life Without Water aims to bring stories about people living in arid and semi-arid regions to a large global audience. Handsomely illustrated and designed to reach a broad non-technical audience, Dry is intended to complement the academic and policy volumes previously published as part of the project. It includes a foreword by Adnan Badran (TWAS Fellow 1991), former prime minister of Jordan, and an introduction by C.N.R. Rao, TWAS president, and Mohamed H.A. Hassan, the Academy's executive director. See the presentation on the TWAS website.

arrowRight Examples of the Successful Conservation and Sustainable Use of Dryland Biodiversity (2004)
cover image
Volume 9 of the series "Sharing Innovative Experiences" published by UNDP's Special Unit for South-South Cooperation in partnership with TWAS and TWNSO. Individual case studies can be downloaded as pdf files.






arrowRight cover imageConserving Biodiversity in Arid Regions: Best Practices in Developing Nations (2003)
Edited by John Lemons, Reginald Victor, Daniel Schaffer. Kluwer Academic Publishers, Boston, July 2003, 520 pp. Hardbound, ISBN 1-4020-7483-2.

Conserving Biodiversity in Arid Regions adds to the research and other works available that are aimed at protecting and sustainably utilizing biodiversity in arid and semiarid areas in developing nations. This book focuses on best practices and lessons learnt for science, for public policy and management, for increasing the participation of local people in decision making, and for enhancing partnerships and capacity building between institutions. In part, the successful practices and programs described in this book are a result of the Earth Summit Conference and the ratification of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) and the Convention to Combat Desertification (CCD) and, hence, provide examples of understudied measures by Southern nations to conserve and sustainably use biodiversity. Written for researchers and scientists.


arrowRight Biodiversity's Importance in Dryland Regions (2001) PDF icon
TWAS Newsletter Vol. 13 No. 2 (April-June 2001), p. 5

arrowRight Report on first meeting (4-6 April 2001) in Trieste, Italy: Dry Diversity PDF icon
TWAS Newsletter Vol. 13 No. 2 (April-June 2001), p. 15

arrowRight Desert Wetlands Preserved PDF icon
TWAS Newsletter Vol. 13 No. 2 (April-June 2001), p. 20

arrowRight Asia's Diverse Drylands PDF icon on first regional workshop held in Mongolia
TWAS Newsletter Vol. 13 No. 3 (July-September 2001), p. 8

arrowRight Report on Cairo conference: Dryland Biodiversity: Next Steps PDF icon (also as HTML page)
TWAS Newsletter Vol. 15 No. 1 (January-March 2003), p. 7

arrowRight Rabat conference announcement and programme.


arrowRight arrowRight arrowRight Miscellaneous photos (Chile and Oman)


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