Arid Lands Newsletter--link to home page No. 42, Fall/Winter 1997
Urban Agriculture in Drylands

Selected news of interest

annotated by Heather Severson

India establishes National Arid Zone Information Center and Environmental Information System on Desertification

The Indian Council of Agricultural Research has approved the establishment of the National Arid Zone Information Center (NARZIC), at the Dr. Raheja Library, Central Arid Zone Research Institute, Jodhpur, India. The primary objective of the center is to provide information support to scientists engaged in field and farm research, and to disseminate information to farmers for overall development of arid zone agriculture. NARZIC will create databases on all aspects of Arid Zone research and will be linked with various national and international networking systems.

In addition, the Library will feature a new Environmental Information System on Desertification (ENVIS), approved by the Government of India's Ministry of Environment and Forest. The primary object of ENVIS is to store and disseminate all information pertaining to the Thar Desert, also known as the Great Indian Desert, to users within and outside the country. CAZRI is also making efforts to collaborate with other similar centers to provide information to INFOTERRA. The center presently provides computerized information services, SDI services, and full text services to its users. For more information, contact:

D.C. Ojha
I/C Library
Central Arid Zone Research Institute
Rajasthan 342 003

Calls for papers

Plant-based solutions for combating desertification

The International Program for Arid Lands Crops (IPALAC) will host this International Conference in Beer Sheva, Israel, November 2-5, 1998. The wise use of plant germplasm that is either native or adaptable to semi-arid/arid lands can contribute to the halt of desertification and sustainable development of such lands. The purpose of this conference is to provide a forum whereby scientists/researchers, development workers/agencies or others who have used plants in income generating or environmental projects in semi-arid /arid regions can share their experiences. For more information, contact:

Mr. Arnie Schlissel, Administrative Coordinator
International Program for Arid Lands Crops
c/o Ben-Gurion University of the Negev
P.O.B. 653
Beer Sheva, Israel 84105
Tel: +972 (7) 646-1905 or 646-1972
Fax: +972 (7) 647 2984

Agriculture, land degradation, and desertification

This is the theme of the Sixth International Meeting of the International Geographical Union's Commission on Land Degradation and Desertification (COMLAND), to be held at The University of Western Australia, Perth, Western Australia, September 20-28, 1999. Papers are invited on any aspect of the theme. Those which provide case studies of successful solutions are particularly welcome. For more information, contact:

Dr. Arthur Conacher
Department of Geography
University of Western Australia
Nedlands, WA 6907
Tel: +61 (8) 9380-2705
Fax: +61 (8) 9380-1054

Success stories in land degradation and desertification control in drylands

UNEP announces a continuous call for submission of success stories in land degradation and desertification control in drylands for the "Saving the Drylands" Award. A success story is an activity that directly and substantially contributes to the prevention of dryland degradation or to the reclamation of degraded land, using appropriate resources in a cost-effective manner. It is one that addresses not only the biophysical but also the socio-cultural-economic issues in all its developmental stages, thus ensuring long-term sustainability. Submission of success stories is a continuous process with no deadlines; however, submissions must be received at least six months in advance to be considered for the award in the same year. For more information, contact:

Ms. Elizabeth Migongo-Bake
Coordinator, Success Story Initiative
P.O. Box 30052
Phone: 254-2-623261
Fax: 254-2-623284

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Heather Severson works at the Arid Lands Information Center, the Office of Arid Lands Studies. The editor gratefully acknowledges her assistance in preparing this information for publication.

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