Sand and Dust storm Project Development Workshop held at ECO Secretariat
ECO-IEST: The Project Development Consultation Workshop on "Combating desertification with a special emphasis on dust haze and sand storm in the ECO region" was held on 5-6 July 2017 at the ECO Secretariat in Tehran.

The workshop was attended by experts from ECO Member States and representatives from the United Nations Economic, Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) and United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD). 
The Workshop was jointly inaugurated by the ECO Deputy Secretary General, Dr. Seyed Jalaledin Alavi Sabzevari and the ECO Director of Energy, Minerals and Environment,     Mr. Fuad Farzalibeyov, ECO Deputy Secretary General in his inaugural remarks explained the Eco's regional activities with focused on promoting people's livelihoods and economic development in the region, and also outlined the dimensions of the ECO organization's 2025 perspective. In the following Mr. Fuad Farzalibeyov in a brief speech explained on dimensions of environmental programs, including combating desertification in the ECO region, and emphasized on the importance of the participation of Member States in the implementation of the regional project.

At the opening session, Dr Asghar Mohammadi Fazel, President of the ECO Institute of Environmental Science and Technology (ECO-IEST), in his statement explained on the situation of desertification in the ECO region and delivered a brief summery on the process of mandating the project to the IEST.
During the workshop, experts from Member States presented reports on the situation of the desertification and strategic plans in their countries, and also they mentioned that political, social, and economic factors would accelerate or slow down the process of desertification in the region.

The international consultant of the project, Mr. Peter Hunnam, also responded to questions from participants on the draft document, while explaining the technical aspects of the project.
The workshop on the second day began with an overview of the debates on the first day and in follow up, the participants with accompaniment of international consultant, actively engaged themselves in separate groups to discuss on ways and means of the combating desertification with emphasize and considering issues like; the most significant sectorial activities contributing to land degradation, success stories, projects and actions in combating aspects of land degradation in their countries. 
At the end of workshop experts from each Member States delivered their solutions and suggestions on necessary time to perform, human resource and skills, improving knowledge sharing and to foster the structured dialogue between the scientific community and stakeholders regarding the problem of desertification, communication and the management strategy and identifying financial resource required to implement and perform the project.
The meeting closed by Dr. Seyed Jalaluddin Alavi Sabzewari, ECO Deputy Secretary General, in his closing statement thanked of participating in the workshop and also reminded  that the environment is very important in our agenda and issues such desertification and land degradation will be improved with more cooperation of the member states, at the end he also expressed his appreciation from ECO-IEST for organizing the workshop and appreciated the support of the College of Environment (CoE) and also expressed hope that the outcomes of this workshop would be considered by the ECO decision making bodies.