Environmental Degradation and Restoration Project

Project Leader

Prof. Norikazu Yamanaka, Arid Land Research Center

Project Organization

Salinization Research Group

Leader: Prof. Norikazu Yamanaka, ALRC

“Remediation of salt affected soils using halophytes”

Aeolian Dust Research Group

Leader: Assoc Prof. Yasunori Kurosaki, ALRC

“Elucidation of dust emission mechanism in Mongolia”

Soil Erosion Research Group

Leader: Specially Appointed Prof. Nigussie Haregeweyn AYEHU, IPDRE

“Development of sustainable land management (SLM) technologies”

Project Overview

“Tackle challenges in drylands and restore the degraded environment”

There is one huge environmental issue in drylands- desertification. Desertification causes sandstorms which erode the lands and cover roads, farms and houses with the sand (collectively called damages from wind erosion). The impact of these sand storms emerging in drylands can have impacts on very distant countries like Japan. The Aeolian dust is very fine particles emerging from the dryland’s sandstorms drifting into Japan. In drylands, the vegetation tends to be very poor. Damage to the scarce vegetation in drylands will increase the lands' vulnerability to rain erosion (damages from water erosion). In addition, inappropriate water management in drylands can cause the salt accumulation in the soil, which prevents the growth of plants and crops (damages from the salinization). The current project is conducting research on issues concerning desertification. The salinization research group conducts research, mainly in the drylands in Central Asia, Turkey and China, etc., on the utilization of halophytic plants for improvement of salt affected soils. The Aeolian dust research group is working to clarify the mechanism of dust emission in Mongolia. The soil erosion research group is mainly working in Ethiopia to develop sustainable land management practices that could minimize soil erosion and soil nutrient depletions associated with the erosion.

Every group under this project conducts field-based research involving the feedback of the local community. Having no part being classified as arid land in Japan does not mean Japan has nothing to do with the issues facing drylands. Hence the project research will continue in collaboration with dryland communities. So as to contribute to the global effort of combating desertification.

Observing the dust emission in a sand storm (Mongolia)
Gully erosion is getting bigger washed by the rain (Ethiopia)