The Kickoff meeting of the NewLife4Drylands project (Remote sensing oriented nature based solutions towards a NEW LIFE FOR DRYLANDS) was successfully held, virtually, on January 21-22, 2021.
The coordinating beneficiary of the project is the National Research Council of Italy – Institute of Atmospheric Pollution Research (CNR-IIA) and the associated beneficiaries are the Hellenic Society for the Protection of Nature, the University of Crete, the Italian Institute for Environmental Protection and Research(ISPRA), the Department of Environmental Biology – Sapienza University of Rome, the Institute of BioEconomy of CNR (CNR-IBE), and the Ecological and Forestry Applications Research Centre in Spain (CREAF).
The main goal of the project is to monitor the application, scalability and replication of the Nature Based Solutions (NBS) for the restoration of degraded and desertified drylands by using remote sensing data and models. The NewLife4Drylands main expected result is the definition of a protocol for the identification of drylands characteristics and for monitoring restoration interventions of degraded lands.
Six project case studies areas were identified for test and evaluation of the proposed protocol. They are located in Mediterranean arid and semiarid areas and in coastal ecosystems threatened by climate change. In Spain the study areas are two areas of the LIFE The Green Link project, coordinated by CREAF, in El Bruc (Catalonia) and Tifaracás (Gran Canaria) in Italy the Alta Murgia (Puglia), in Greece the Asterousia Mountains (Crete) and finally two more areas of the LIFE PRIMED project, where the coordinator is the Hellenic Society for the Protection of Nature, in Nestos Delta – Greece and in the Natura 2000 site “Bosco di Palo Laziale” of Rome, Italy.

The kickoff meeting was attended by all project partners from Greece, Italy and Spain. On the first day, the participants discussed the rationale of the project, andadministrative and financial issues, the implementation schedule. On the second day a detailed presentation was made by each project partner about the implementation of the foreseen actions and the project challenges.
The European Commission co-finances the project at a rate of 58% of the total eligible costs and the remaining 42% is covered by the project partners. The duration of the project is 30 months (1/1/2021-30/6/2023).
The NewLife4Drylands project has received funding from the LIFE Programme of the European Union (GA n. LIFE20 PRE/IT/000007).