This research has been carried out at the Department of Desertification and Genecology, Estación Experimental de Zonas Áridas (EEZA), Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (CSIC) in Almeria, Spain, under the supervision of Dr. Gabriel del Barrio Escribano, between October 2011 and September 2012.
Monitoring of land condition is one of the basic prerequisites for finding the degradation under climate and human pressure that leads to desertification. The monitoring module (r2dRUE) presented in this article addresses the land trends (degrading, improving, static and fluctuating) observed along the study period (2000-2010).This module is built on monthly time-series of two types of data, a vegetation density index (NDVI) derived from Global Environmental Monitoring satellite archives, and corresponding interpolated climate fields.
The monitoring module was tested in the West Bank region (Occupied Palestinian Territory) for the period 2000 to 2010 using monthly NDVI images derived from the 250 m MODIS Terra satellite and a corresponding archive of climate variables. The results show that the amount of land under an active degradation processes is 16% of West Bank area (876 km2). This shows one of the highest proportions in regards to other regions that were tested by the same module. In general the ongoing degradation occurred in multiple and scattered spots throughout the study area. These localized spots are associated with many socio-economic, cultural, political and geographical factors of the West Bank. Static and Fluctuating land trends were detected almost everywhere. While the amount of land under improving trend is 3% of the West Bank (170 km2) especially the areas that are considered as nature reserves or protected areas.