International Workshop on Drought Management and Desertification Control (IWDMDC), 22-24 May 2017 ( Archive )
The International Workshop on Drought Management and Desertification Control was held from 22nd to 24th May 2017 at the Faculty of Agriculture, Ferdowsi University of Mashhad. The participants at this international workshop came from 22 countries including a number of developing countries and five keynote speakers who lectured on a diverse range of issues related to drought and desertification.
According to the Public Relations Office of Ferdowsi University of Mashhad, IWDMDC is among the workshops which are annually held by the Centre for Science and Technology of the Non-Aligned and other Developing Countries (NAMS&T Centre). The main topics of this workshop included managing the damages resulting from desertification, preventing the spread of deserts to agricultural lands and producing more agricultural and livestock products in dry and semi-dry conditions.
During the opening ceremony of this workshop, Dr. Mohammad Kafi, the President of Ferdowsi University of Mashhad, stated that one of the main reasons of holding this workshop in Mashhad and Ferdowsi University is the special regional and climatic features of Khorasan as a dry region. Dr. Kafi added that “Iran is one of the dry and semi-dry regions of the world and a large area of this region is located at a dry and semi-dry climate. Hence, the representatives of different countries who have participated in this workshop could provide us with their experiences with regard to the current best practices for controlling drought and desertification.
The president of Ferdowsi University of Mashhad went on to say that “drought is an undeniable fact in Iran and Khorasan Razavi in particular, the eradication of which seems to be impossible. However, scientific activities such as holding these workshops and seminars for exchanging the existing experiences and knowledge with other countries which have a similar climate would help providing the Iranians with better life conditions.
During the next speech, Mr. Maghdoori, the Deputy of Civil Affairs at the Office of the Governor General of Khorasan Razavi pointed that the majority of agricultural, economic, and social challenges faced by Khorasan Province have roots in the climatic conditions of the region and in recent years, dryness and low water levels have become more severe. He continued that “the Office of the Governor General of Khorasan Razavi, in cooperation with Ferdowsi University of Mashhad, has codified a plan for drought management and efficient water use until the year 2041. This plan considers numerous projects regarding the prohibition of unauthorized and more-than-necessary water extraction.
Mr. Maghdoori added that “within this framework, 10 thousand authorized wells in the agricultural sector of Khorasan Razavi have been equipped with smart meters during the last three years, resulting in an annual saving of over 350 million M3 of water. The Deputy of Civil Affairs at the Office of the Governor General of Khorasan Razavi also said that “some measures have been taken to change the cultivation pattern and revolutionize the agricultural research programs. Overall, around 20% of the total area of this province is exposed to severe wind erosion.
Mr Maghdoori referred to water shortage as the major crisis in Khorasan Razavi and said, “Over 5 billion hectares of agricultural lands in 110 countries are subject to desertification. Similarly, 100 million hectares of the total area of Iran is exposed to erosion, from which 75 million hectares are under water erosion, 20 million hectares are subject to wind erosion and 5 million hectares are exposed to other types of erosion.
The International Workshop on Drought Management and Desertification Control was held on 22nd, 23rd, and 24th of May 2017 at Ferdowsi University of Mashhad. The results of this workshop would be included in a book which will be published in near future. The main aim of the cooperation between Ferdowsi University of Mashhad, the Centre for Agricultural Research and Education, the Organization for Natural Resources and the Office of the Governor General of Khorasan Razavi for holding this workshop in Mashhad was to use the experiences of other countries regarding their confrontation with drought and desertification matters. In addition to the international guests coming from 22 Non-Aligned countries, some faculty members of Ferdowsi University of Mashhad, the planning experts at the Office of the Governor General of Khorasan Razavi, the experts of the Centre for Agricultural Research and Education and the Organization of Natural Resources also participated in this workshop.