The Unmet Challenge of Connecting Scientific Research with Community Action
Publication Year:
During the past century, desertification was identified as negatively influencing productivity of drylands, although the process had been underway for millennia. The challenge presented was recognized at the UN Conference on Environment and Development and resulted in the UN Convention to Combat Desertification. Meanwhile, spurred, inter alia, by the UN Conference on Desertification in the 1970s, the scientific community has conducted research related to or directly addressing desertification control and rehabilitation for decades. Despite these efforts, little has improved among an increasing population faced with decreasing productivity of degraded lands. The results of scientific research are generally not accessible to or being used by those addressing desertification, e.g. communities, extension officers, policy-makers and others not usually informed by results of scientific research. A multi-pronged approach is required. Researchers must translate and indicate ways of applying their results. Communities and their support organizations need to establish platforms for accessing, interpreting and facilitating application of useful research results. Moreover, both groups have a responsibility to establish mechanisms to engage with policy-makers concerning their results, needs and actions to address desertification control. The challenges of making these essential connections, with examples from Namibia, are explored in this presentation.
Publication Title:
The Future of Drylands
Item Type:
Journal Article

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