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World land Degradation and Desertification. A human and biophysical approach
Convener: Artemi Cerdà  | Co-Conveners: Jan Nyssen , Lindsay Stringer , Majid Mahmoodabadi , David Dunkerley 
 / Wed, 30 Apr, 08:30–10:15
 / Attendance Fri, 02 May, 10:30–12:00

Land Degradation and Desertification are complex challenges at the beginning of the XXI century, with environmental, social, economic and political dimensions. Although the topic was originally focussed on the arid, semiarid, and dry sub-humid regions, land degradation is increasingly seen as a worldwide threat.
Land Degradation and Desertification are multi-faceted environmental issues. Traditional biophysical approaches suggest that terrestrial ecosystem processes and functioning are lost through the misuse and abuse of land by humans. Social and economic research approaches have more recently been shown to be increasingly important in understanding the drivers and outcomes of land degradation in the last decade, as well as highlighting the links to land use and land management practices. Attention is also starting to focus more on the politicised nature of land degradation, with politics and policy being recognised as part of both the problem and the solution. As these different traditions are brought together through the development of holistic and multi-scale approaches, new understandings of land degradation are beginning to emerge.
This session provides a platform for papers that discuss biophysical (soil erosion, soil degradation, climate change, flora and fauna, water resources, ecosystem services…), social (gender, community research approaches, farmers perceptions, land use decision making…), economic (land management, poverty, investments in sustainable land management…) and political aspects (new and old policies, land rights, governance…) at different temporal and spatial scales.
The scientific session “World Land Degradation and Desertification. A human and biophysical approach” will showcase the State-of-the-Art on the topic. The best research teams working in developed and developing countries will join the session in Vienna on Friday May 2nd 2014 to share their findings, knowledge and critiques. You are welcome to submit your abstract for this session.

Modelling soil erosion as a dynamic phenomenon contributes to understand the erosion processes and needs to predict accurately the erosion rates under different environmental conditions. The processes of soil erosion have been studied at different scales such as splash cup, detachment tray, plot, hillslope, catchment and river basin. Universally, there is no satisfactory relationship between sediment yield and slope length, so that both increase and decrease as a function of drainage area has been reported. In many cases, the applied methodology prevents precise process examination, which is strongly affected by disregarding temporal and spatial scales. At different scales, the dominant erosion processes and the corresponding erosion rates change. Also, application of physically based soil erosion models at the catchment scale has remained difficult, since changing process domination and process complexity at larger scales is not represented in most soil erosion models. Therefore, it is important to apply a reasonable and acceptable methodology to achieve better estimations of erosion rate at different scales.
We welcome submissions as oral or poster that enhance our understanding of such processes at different scales and present a comprehensive methodology to determine soil erosion rate, precisely.

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