Global Assessment of Sand and Dust Storms
The specific objectives of the assessment are to: 1. Synthesise and highlight the environmental and socio-economic causes and impacts of SDS, as well as available technical measures for their mitigation, at the local, regional and global levels. 2. Show how the mitigation of SDS can yield multiple sustainable development benefits. 3. Synthesize information on current policy responses for mitigating SDS. 4. Present options for an improved strategy for mitigating SDS at the local, regional and global levels, building on existing institutions and agreements. The report first presents the science of sand and dust storm processes, which forms a foundation for technical and policy options for mitigating SDS. Section 2 describes the causes of sand and dust storms, their direct and indirect drivers and their inter-relationships. Section 3 provides an overview of SDS state and trends including global and regional characteristics and anthropogenic sources. Section 4 provides an overview of the environmental, social and economic impacts of SDS, including those on human health. Section 5 describes initiatives for monitoring and prediction and warning systems for SDS. Section 6 gives an overview of technical measures available for mitigating SDS at different scales. Section 7 provides an overview and examples of current national, regional and global policy initiatives before synthesizing the information from the preceding sections into a framework for policy action for mitigating SDS. The report also includes an appendix of case studies of regional and national actions and studies aimed at monitoring and mitigating SDS.