Sustainable Management of Marginal Drylands (SUMAMAD)

The SUMAMAD Project studies sustainable management and conservation of marginal drylands in Africa, Arab States, Asia, Latin America. The project started in 2002, and uses harmonized methodologies for 9 research sites allowing results comparing and knowledge sharing. In its second phase (since 2009), scientists from Belgium, Bolivia, Burkina Faso, China, Egypt, India, I.R. of Iran, Jordan, Pakistan and Tunisia collaborate on dryland research to combat desertification.

The SUMAMAD Project is funded by the Flemish Government of Belgium and participating countries. It is implemented by UNESCO-MAB in collaboration with the dryland ecosystems programme of the United Nations University-Institute for Water, Environment & Health (UNU-INWEH).

Overall objectives:

  • Improved and alternative livelihoods of dryland dwellers;
  • Reduced vulnerability to land degradation in marginal lands through rehabilitation efforts of degraded lands;
  • Improved productivity through identification of wise practices using both traditional knowledge and scientific expertise;
  • Sharing of scientific knowledge among participating countries.


The 11th International SUMAMAD Project Workshop on 19 June 2013 in conjunction with the international DESERTLAND Conference (17 – 18 June 2013) in Ghent, Belgium, with a view to observe World Day to Combat Desertification on 17 June. See Workshop Report.

The 10th International SUMAMAD Project Workshop was held in La Paz, Bolivia from 12 – 14 November 2012. See Workshop Report.

The 9th International SUMAMAD Project Workshop was held in Bobo Dioulasso (Burkina Faso; 14-19 December 2011). See Workshop Report and Workshop Proceedings.

The 8th International SUMAMAD Project Workshop was held in Alexandria (Egypt; 6-9 November 2010). See Workshop Report and Workshop Proceedings.


Project sites

I.R. of Iran: Gareh Bygone Plain

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