About the UNESCO Chair on Eremology

A touch of history

The International Centre for Eremology was founded in 1989 by Prof. Em. Dr. ir. M.F. De Boodt, as a reaction to the disastrous droughts Sahelian countries were suffering from since the early 1970’s. As such, a special branch of science was devoted to the study and management of drylands. It was the late French Professor Theodore Monod (founder in 1938 of IFAN, l’Institut Français d’Afrique Noire, Dakar, Sénégal) who first used the word “eremology” (from the greek erhmoz: desert).

Since 2008, the International Centre for Eremology received the honour to act as UNESCO chair on Eremology. The foundation of this UNESCO Chair was a result of ICE's longstanding cooperation with and support to UNESCO scientists through a science dedicated Trust Fund (Flanders/Belgium). The UNESCO Chair for Eremology opens possibilities for international cooperation and projects related the actual problems of climate change, causes of desertification and land degradation, and means and ways to combat desertification.


Uitreiking UNESCO chair Unesco chair inauguration2.jpg Unesco chair inauguration3


The specific objectives of the International Centre for Eremology are:
  • to promote and coordinate the study and management of drylands
  • to provide technological and scientific innovation to improve management of drylands
  • to generate, acquire and disseminate information related to the study and management of drylands
  • to support and build up capacity of universities, institutes, research centres ... active in the field of desertification and dryland management.