refers to the implementation of existing regulations on environmental
protection. For example the Greek regulation 1032/1979 defines
policies for the protection of forested areas and considers
measures for the improvement and development of these areas.
The Policy enforcement indicator is used to assess the degree
of application of the specific regulation on forested areas.
of adequate enforcement of the regulation on soil erosion
protection by supporting adequate vegetation cover and
applying controlled grazing (photo by C. Kosmas)
|Unit of measure
of the area protected
within the logical framework DPSIR
|Type of Indicator
3. Target and
to the measures to combat desertification due to stress induced
by land management on natural resources.
with respect to desertification
of specific regulations is related to the application of measures
for protection of the land from desertification. For example
in a cultivated area some typical management practices for reducing
tillage and water erosion are: (i) no tillage or minimum tillage,
(ii) tillage of soil in the up-slope direction, (iii) contour
farming, (iv) enhancement of vegetation cover. Therefore, protection
of the land from soil erosion depends on the effectiveness of
the implementation /enforcement of such actions.
Conventions and agreements
a variety of trans-boundary legislation, as well as EC directives,
on land management and protection of natural resources.
of the indicator
of the various management practices for combating desertification.
description and basic definitions
and basic concepts
Desertification is a complex
socio-environmental phenomenon caused by 'complex interactions
among physical, biological, social, cultural, social, and
economic factors' (UNCCD 1999) and involving socio-environmental
systems that are not necessarily tightly connected. A large
number of national and EU policies and policy initiatives
impinge, in one way or another, on the bio-physical as well
as the socio-economic conditions that may be contributing
directly or indirectly, positively or negatively, to land
degradation and desertification. In the concept of the indicator
"Policy enforcement" attention is given to the policies
related to the land protection from desertification such as
policies supporting terracing, policies favouring extensive
agriculture, coastal protection policies, etc. Of course their
effectiveness depends on the degree to which they are enforced.
Therefore, rating of relative policies on environmental protection
is based on the degree to which they are enforced. Hence,
the information must be collected on the existing policies
and their implementation/enforcement. The information needed
depends on the policy under consideration. For example, in
the case of terracing protection policy, a relevant piece
of information might be the ratio of protected to existing
terraces. In the case of extensive agriculture policy, a relevant
piece of information might be the percentage of farms (or
farmers) or the percentage of area under extensive agriculture.
Studies conducted in the
island of Lesvos (Greece) showed that policy enforcement generally
decreased as the sensitivity of the land to desertification
increased. Critical environmentally sensitive areas (ESAs),
corresponding mainly to pastures or cereals, were not adequately
protected. Overgrazing, burning of the natural vegetation,
and lack of erosion control measures are common practices
that lead to land degradation and desertification. On the
other hand, fragile ESAs, corresponding to land uses such
as olive groves, pine forests are relatively adequately protected
by: (a) land terracing, (b) minimum or no tillage, (c) forest
fire protection, (d) ploughing the soil parallel to the contour
of policy enforcement in the various types of ESAs in
the island of Lesvos (N=non-threatened areas, P=potential
ESAs, F1, F2, F3=fragile ESAs, C1, C2, C3=critical ESAs).
Indication of the values/ranges of value
Four classes of policy
enforcement are distinguished:
- adequate (>75% of
the land is protected),
- moderate (25-75% of
the land is protected),
- low (<25% of the
land is protected),
effectiveness of implementation of an existing policy on environmental
protection is rated by assessing the degree of enforcement.
For example, in the case of terracing protection policy, a relevant
piece of information is the ratio of protected terraces to existing
terraces in a certain farm.
|Limits of the
can be subject to personal judgment during the assessment of
the implementation/enforcement of a certain policy.
use intensity, Sustainable
farming, Terraces (presence
depth (change in), Runoff
water storage, Reclamation of affected soils, Forest fire
protection, Grazing control,
Reclamation of mining areas, Soil
erosion control measures, Soil water conservation.
of data needs and availability
required to calculate the indicator
regulations on environmental protection and degree of implementation/enforcement
on an certain area.
are usually available and accessible or they can be assessed
by local observations.
of data from national and international sources
can be obtained from national agencies, various regional institutions
involved in collecting and elaborating land management related
that have participated in developing the indicator
University of Athens
of Lisbon, Murcia, Potenza
C., Kirkby, M. and Geeson, N. 1999. Manual on: Key indicators
of desertification and mapping environmentally sensitive areas
to desertification. European Commission, Energy, Environment
and Sustainable Development, EUR 18882, 87 p.
Enne, G., and Zucca, C.
2001. Desertification indicators for the Europian Mediterranean
Region. ANPA-AgenziaNazionale per la Protezionedell Ambiente,
Rome, Italy 261 p.
Briassoulis, H. 2003.
Mediterranean desertification, framing the policy context.
European Commission, Directorate-General for Research, Sustainable
Development, Global Change and Ecosystems, Project EVK2-CT-2000-00085.
Name and address
Agricultural University of Athens,
Laboratory of Soils and Agricultural Chemistry,
Iera Odos 75,