Main Activities of DRC
- Exploring and evaluating groundwater resources in desert regions; drilling, testing and monitoring water wells.
- Monitoring groundwater quantity and quality in desert and newly reclaimed lands with respect to their agricultural use and development.
- Increasing rainwater efficiency through water harvesting in rainy coastal regions.
- Evaluating land resources, potentialities and suitability for agriculture production.
- Reuse of low quality water (drainage water and sewage sludge effluent after treatments) in irrigation.
- Combating environmental pollution, especially the hazardous toxic heavy metals in soil, water, plant and food chain products.
- Surveying and evaluating natural vegetation as a source of grazing and medicinal desert plants as well as valuable genetic materials.
- Increasing the productivity of field crops and fruit orchards under salinity conditions through bio-fertilization methods and management practices.
- Protection, conservation and improving rangeland resources.
- Increasing animals and poultry productivity under desert conditions, by implementing measures to overcome food shortages during the dry season, heat stress, water salinity and desert diseases.
- Monitoring and analyzing desertification phenomena and recommending solutions to stop or minimize desertification process with the aid of space maps taken through the DRC Satellite Receiving Station.
- Applying various techniques to stabilize sand dunes.
- Studying environmental pollution of soil, water and plant in developmental expansion areas.
- Providing proper assistances and advice to target groups ( local Bedouins and investors) to best utilize available resources .
- Formulating proper agricultural practices, and defining cropping systems and farming types under different desert conditions.
- Conducting socio-economic studies in the field of marketing, cooperatives, labor and settlements.
- Creating decision support maps for land remediation, reclamation, management and sustainable development of natural resources.
- Increasing cost- effectiveness of desert land unit.
Research Stations of DRC
Besides DRC Headquarter, located in Cairo.DRC has eleven well established Experimental Research Stations distributed along different ecological zones in the Egyptian deserts. Each Research Station has specific task to fit with the conditions of its location. All the research stations are fully equipped with the necessary equipments, e.g., laboratories, vehicles, rest houses for accommodation, green houses, agro-climatic station, Gene Bank for wild plants genetic resources, bio- technology laboratories, many various field machineries, animal ( sheep, goat, camel) facilities. In addition to training facilities, training units, appropriate accommodation facilities for the trainees.
The global goal Research Stations is to enhance the livelihood of local resident people in the target areas through better management and utilization of the available natural resources.
The most important tasks of these research stations can be summed up as follows:
- Providing proper assistance and advice to target groups (local Bedouins and investors, policy makers) to best utilize available resources in an economic way.
- Investigating the performance of some species and cultivars of agricultural field crops, fodder, vegetables, and fruit orchards, formulating proper agricultural practices, and defining cropping systems and farming types in different desert conditions.
- Testing appropriate cropping patterns and farming systems suitable for the quality of the resources base and prevailing environmental conditions.
- Raising awareness and conducting socio-economic studies such as marketing cooperatives, labor and settlements, in addition to the development of local societies
Major Collaborations with International Organizations
African Union (AU), European Union ( EU ); Sahara and Sahel Observatory (OSS), Paris; International Center for Advanced Mediterranean Agronomic Studies ( CIHEAM), United States Agency for International Development (USAID); American Universities ( Boston, Maryland, New Mexico and Arizona ); United States Dept. of Agriculture (USDA); Gesellschaft fur Technische Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), Germany; Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO); United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO); United Nations Development Program (UNDP); United Nations Environmental Program (UNEP); International Center for Agriculture Research in the Dry Areas (ICARDA) ,Allepo, Syria; Center for Environment and Development for Arab Region and Europe(CEDARE) and Arab Center for Studies of Arid and Dry Lands ( ACSAD).
Experiences and capability of DRC for training in combating desertification:
As DRC is the focal point of the UNCCD, a center for monitoring desertification has been already established since 2004. This monitoring center is equipped with some essential facilities. It is proposed to develop and extend its mandates and proposed training activities in the future to deal with the following objectives:
- Evaluating and monitoring the causes, sensitivity and parameters of desertification phenomenon.
- To find out the proper solutions and practices to combat desertification.
- To delineate the priority of regions affected by desertification
- Raising the concept of desertification - climate change- biodiversity cause - effect approach and inhabitants response.
- Enhancement of capacity building and raising awareness of stakeholders, land users and policy makers at national and regional levels with a special emphasis on the impact on the national economy.
- Adoption of training programs including transfer of modern technologies dealing with combating desertification, adapt climate change and biodiversity conservation.
- The proposed center acts as a national and a regional benchmark for providing advices, experiences, and recommendations for the optimum use of natural resources in terms of management, conservation and sustainable development.
- Issuing brochures and holding local and regional conferences to enhance experience exchange and knowledge update of desertification relevant issues.
- Building up the knowledge of juniors to be fully acquainted with methodologies and means to deal with environmental threats.
- Data processing, analysis, interpretation and presentation by means of state of the art techniques and software.