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ALGERIA:

Tewfik Abada, of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, gave a summary of the Algerian national report on combatting drought and desertification. He stated that land degradation is due to irregularity of rainfall, lack of soils, and the breadth of the temperature range. Other causes include: overgrazing, growing population pressures, loss of tree cover, and salinization. He described the Green Dam programme that includes protection of existing vegetation, reforestation, development of pastoral and agricultural lands, dune fixation, and development of underground water. He stated that any plan of action should involve the following phases: take local resources into stock; evaluate ecosystems and periods of drought through observation stations; upgrade national, scientific and human resources; and increase the research potential.