Working Group 2

WG2 – Traditional and Innovative Systems: Focus on Soils and Hydrology – A Creating and Designing Think-Tank:

Understanding the issues and problems through European,international and interdisciplinary exchange and technical knowhow particularly on vegetation establishment relating to soils and hydrology and allied issues. This includes the appropriate use of existing soil information at national and European levels to support land use planning and the efficient and appropriate use of water.

The main focus of this WG centres on soils and hydrology. In the first instance land degradation occurs when the soils become degraded (by various man-made and/or natural actions). The most common forms of soil degradation in the drylands include erosion, salinisation, and soil organic matter depletion associated with loss of biodiversity. The WG will identify the various ranges of soil typologies, their physiognomy, physical and chemical makeup and particular reactions with water. Issues of albedo, soil colour, solar absorption, and reflectivity will be assessed. Current and new advanced microclimatic manipulation of soils, soil structures and water which are important for enhanced vegetation establishment will be advanced. Core and subsidiary indicators mainly relative to soil / hydrology / microclimate will be identified as part of a toolkit for categorisation, understanding the layers of causality and identifying European and world-wide situations and solutions. The analysis of typologies will link into the other part of the WG’s programme which concentrates on identifying tried and tested local technologies and methods for arid lands restoration as well as allied restoration relative to soils and hydrology in other biomes which may have particular resonance. Although all WG’s will link together with a continuous and specific flows of information the greatest need for exchange is between WG2 and WG3 as they are dealing with the fundamentals of restoration using plants.