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Press invite: UN Environment Programme launches State of the World's Deserts report

Publication date: Jun 6, 2006 2:10:07 PM

Dramatic changes are sweeping the world's deserts as a result of factors ranging from climate change, agriculture and urbanisation to pollution, tourism and global insecurity.

Bigger changes are threatened which could alter these unique and hauntingly beautiful landscapes forever, says a new landmark report by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).

UNEP and one of the lead authors of the Global Deserts Outlook will unveil the new findings at a press briefing at UCL on Friday 2 June 2006.

The briefing and report are embargoed for Monday morning (00.01 local time) Monday 5 June 2006 – World Environment Day in the International Year of Deserts and Desertification.

Those scheduled to attend the press briefing are:

Kaveh Zahedi, Deputy Director of UNEP's World Conservation Monitoring Centre 

Professor Andrew Warren, UCL Department of Geography and one of the authors of the report

EVENT: Launch of the State of the World’s Deserts report
TIME: Friday 2 June 2006, 10.00am
LOCATION: Room G07, Pearson Building, University College London, Gower Street, London, WC1E 6BT

Notes to editors

For more information please contact:

Nick Nuttall, Spokesperson UNEP, Tel: +254 20 7623084, Mobile: +254 733 632755, Mobile in London from 31 May until 5 June: +41 79 59 65 737, E-mail:

Judith H Moore, UCL Press Office, Tel: +44 (0) 20 7679 7678, Mobile: +44 (0)77333 075 96, E-mail:

About UCL

Founded in 1826, UCL was the first English university established after Oxford and Cambridge, the first to admit students regardless of race, class, religion or gender, and the first to provide systematic teaching of law, architecture and medicine. In the government’s most recent Research Assessment Exercise, 59 UCL departments achieved top ratings of 5* and 5, indicating research quality of international excellence.

UCL is the fourth-ranked UK university in the 2005 league table of the top 500 world universities produced by the Shanghai Jiao Tong University. UCL alumni include Mahatma Gandhi (Laws 1889, Indian political and spiritual leader); Jonathan Dimbleby (Philosophy 1969, writer and television presenter); Junichiro Koizumi (Economics 1969, Prime Minister of Japan); Lord Woolf (Laws 1954, former Lord Chief Justice of England & Wales); Alexander Graham Bell (Phonetics 1860s, inventor of the telephone); and members of the band Coldplay.