Appraising and selecting conservation measures to mitigate desertification and land degradation based on stakeholder participation and global best practices

Schwilch, Gudrun; Bachmann, Felicitas; Liniger, Hanspeter (2009). Appraising and selecting conservation measures to mitigate desertification and land degradation based on stakeholder participation and global best practices. Land degradation & development, 20(3), pp. 308-326. Chichester: John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. 10.1002/ldr.920

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Most desertification research focuses on degradation assessments without putting sufficient emphasis on prevention and mitigation strategies, although the concept of Sustainable Land Management (SLM) is increasingly being acknowledged. A variety of already applied conservation measures exist at the local level, but they are not adequately recognised, evaluated and shared, either by land users, technicians, researchers, or policy makers. Likewise, collaboration between research and implementation is often insufficient. The aim of this paper is to present a new methodology for a participatory process of appraising and selecting desertification mitigation strategies, and to present first experiences from its application in the EU-funded DESIRE project. The methodology combines a collective learning and decision approach with the use of evaluated global best practices. In three parts, it moves through a concise process, starting with identifying land degradation and locally applied solutions in a stakeholder workshop, leading to assessing local solutions with a standardised evaluation tool, and ending with jointly selecting promising strategies for implementation with the help of a decision support tool. The methodology is currently being applied in 16 study sites. Preliminary analysis from the application of the first part of the methodology shows that the initial stakeholder workshop results in a good basis for stakeholder cooperation, and in promising land conservation practices for further assessment. Study site research teams appreciated the valuable results, as burning issues and promising options emerged from joint reflection. The methodology is suitable to initiate mutual learning among different stakeholder groups and to integrate local and scientific knowledge.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


08 Faculty of Science > Institute of Geography > Geographies of Sustainability
08 Faculty of Science > Institute of Geography > NCCR North-South Management Centre [discontinued]
10 Strategic Research Centers > Centre for Development and Environment (CDE)

UniBE Contributor:

Schwilch, Gudrun, Bachmann, Felicitas, Liniger, Hans Peter


300 Social sciences, sociology & anthropology > 330 Economics




John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.




Factscience Import

Date Deposited:

04 Oct 2013 15:21

Last Modified:

02 Mar 2023 23:23

Publisher DOI:


Web of Science ID:




URI: (FactScience: 205309)

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