NRD is the Operational Secretariat of DesertNet International (

DNI is an International Association of researchers which aims to generate and enhance knowledge and understanding of the biophysical and socio-economic processes of desertification. DNI supports any mechanism by which science and technology may contribute to sustainable dryland development, combating desertification, reversing soil degradation in drylands, and to the identification of preventive measures to conserve the natural resources. 

As a multidisciplinary network, DesertNet International provides a platform for scientifically based discussions and exchange of ideas. It also addresses knowledge gaps and identifies research areas.  

As a think tank, DesertNet International communicates with stakeholders and policymakers,  by identifying issues and priorities for them. The network responds to demands for assessment and information needs and translates knowledge into lay terms to improve public awareness of desertification, its costs and implications beyond drylands. DesertNet International closely cooperates with the European Commission’s Research Directorate, ministries, development agencies and UN bodies (specifically the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification - UNCCD).

Quirico Migheli, NRD Director, ( is the Secretary General of the DesertNet International. 


NRD is the also the Operational Secretariat of the Independent Consortium of Research and Knowledge Networks on Land Degradation, Desertification and Sustainable Land Management (ICoN SLM).

ICoN SLM is an international, non-governmental, and non-profit association of existing research and knowledge networks and institutions.

ICoN SLM aims to generate, assess, share, and exchange knowledge on LDD and SLM related to dryland requirements and opportunities in order to:

·         Provide multi- and trans-disciplinary policy-relevant knowledge in support of UNCCD and other Multilateral Environmental Agreements (MEAs), and science-policy advisory bodies;

·         Strengthen the role and the visibility of science and other forms of knowledge in the identification and implementation of appropriate SLM and SDGs.

·         Facilitate the collaboration and joint activities among already existing networks;

·         Identify and mobilize experts external to the ICoN SLM to enhance the availability of independent, novel, and trans-disciplinary expertise.      

·         Synthesize existing data and information; and

·         Provide independent scientific assessments on specific LDD and SLM issues.

The founding partners of ICoN SLM are DesertNet International (DNI), the World Overview of Conservation Approaches and Technologies (WOCAT), and the Global Network of Desert Research Institutes (GNDRI).


The NRD Networking staff supports the coordination of projects and activities national and international projects (scientific networking), keeps close relationships with international and national treaties and regulations, particularly UNCCD, EC and the Italian National Action Plan to Combat desertification (institutional networking).

Please find below more information about networking projects and activties in which NRD has participated both as coordinator and partner. The projects are listed in chronological order starting from the most recent ones.