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Editorial
Shafqat Kakakhel, Deputy Executive Director and Officer, UNEP

Answering Cries of Despair
Abdelaziz Bouteflika, President of the Democratic and Popular Republic of Algeria, talks about World Environment Day and calls for a charter on deserts and desertification

Don’t Desert Drylands
Cherif Rahmani, Minister of the Environment of Algeria, on the theme and context behind World Environment Day

Gaining Ground
Cristina Narbona, Minister of the Environment, Spain, describes a developed country’s experience of desertification and the measures it has taken to combat the problem

Thirsty Land, Untapped Opportunity
Jacques Diouf, Director-General of the UN Food and Agriculture Organization, discusses drought and water scarcity as being the greatest threat to global food production, and calls for greater investment in water control

Seizing the Chance
Hama Arba Diallo, Executive Secretary of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification, calls for urgent action to tackle one of the greatest causes of poverty and conflict

People

Don’t Desert Dryland Peoples
Philip Dobie, Director of the UNDP Drylands Development Centre, Nairobi, explains why good government, which supports the people of the drylands, is the most important element in beating desertification and hunger

Desertification Has a Woman’s Face
Fannie Mutepfa, International Coordinator, Great Limpopo Transfrontier Park and member of the board, Environmental Management Agency, Zimbabwe, discusses how land degradation hits women hardest, but that they are often bypassed in attempts to combat it

Filling in the Gaps
Timo Maukonen, Senior Programme Officer, UNEP-DEWA, describes how increased knowledge and information on deserts and drylands is essential for both their development and conservation

At a Glance:
Deserts and Drylands

Star Profile
Hristo Stoichkov

Books & Products

Need a Fresh New Start
Masse Lo, Regional Programme Director of LEAD Francophone Africa, and Oussouby Toure, sociologist, environmentalist and international consultant, challenge the international community to put its weight behind the fight against desertification as part of the assault on poverty

Only Connect
Sara J. Scherr, President at Ecoagriculture Partners, and Claire Rhodes, Programme Associate at Ecoagriculture Partners, discuss how Millennium Development Goals can only be achieved in the drylands by approaches that simultaneously deliver food security, rural livelihoods and biodiversity conservation

Dry Knowledge, Lively Enterprise
Mark Stafford Smith, Research Fellow, Desert Knowledge Cooperative Research Centre, Alice Springs, Australia, describes how deserts abound in innovation and opportunities and discusses ways in which they are being harnessed and met in the world’s driest continent

Cutting through Confusions
James F Reynolds, Professor of Environmental Sciences and Biology, Duke University, North Carolina, USA, outlines a new paradigm for understanding the interrelated factors that make up desertification, so as better to combat it

Greening Desert
Nadia El-Awady, Managing Science Editor, IslamOnline.net and President, Arab Association of Science Journalists presents a personal account and reports on a pioneering programme to turn desert into productive agricultural land

Art for the Environment

Achim Steiner
New Executive Director, UNEP

Trees are Life
Arwa Omar, 13, Lebanon