Centro de Investigaciones sobre Desertificación (CIDE)


Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (CSIC) /
Spanish National Research Council

Mailing address:

Centro De Investigaciones sobre Desertificación-CIDE
Camí de la Marjal, s/n. Apartado Oficial

Phone: +34 96 122 05 40
Fax: +34 96 127 09 67
E-Mail: cide@uv.es
Web: http://www.uv.es/cide

Mission statement

The Centro de Investigaciones sobre Desertificacion (CIDE) is a joint research centre dedicate to the study of desertification processes and its control in Mediterranean environments. It is the only European Centre dedicated to this thematic. The main investigation in the CIDE is to study the soil degradation processes at different scales, emphasizing the studies on soil erosion, impacts of forest fires, methodological developments, models implementations and spatial representation; vegetal colonization and restoration of degradation areas, the planning of sustainable use of the territory with the development of evaluation methodologies of soils and environmental impact, planning of recommendation uses, and the application of new technologies for the evaluation, monitoring and fight against desertification. The CIDE also develop an intense academic labour and also on public awareness on these issues.

The environment of the location

The Centro de Investigaciones sobre Desertificación-CIDE (39º 23′ 29.57″ N, 0º 24′ 32.31″ O) is located in Albal (Valencia, Spain) a village at 7 km from the city of Valencia, in the Eastern Mediterranean coast of Spain. It is located at 6 m o.s.l., in a littoral plain at the side of the Mediterranean Sea, and close to the Natural Park of La Albufera (included in the RAMSAR convention), surrounded by extensive citrus and orchard crops.
It is well communicated by bus, train, roads, and with the near airport and harbour of Valencia. There is a private bus service for all people working in the Centre.

Short history and milestones

The CIDE is a joint research Centre of the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC), the University of Valencia and the Autonomous Govern of Valencia (Generalitat Valenciana). The Centre is constituted by a multidisciplinary research team that covers the main fields of desertification problems.
The scientific objectives of CIDE are focused on priority aspects of desertification problem:

  • Soil erosion and degradation processes at different scales
  • Functionalism of Mediterranean ecosystems
  • Climatic changes implications
  • Soil contamination
  • Integrated soil mapping
  • Hydrological aspects: soil hydrological regime and the incidence of drought
  • Socio-economic aspects related to changes in soil use
  • Restoration of degraded zones and sustainable land use planning
  • Application of new technologies to evaluation, monitoring and fight against desertification

CIDE has general capability of managing Projects within the European Union and within the Spanish government (CICYT, ICONA, etc.) and autonomic governments. In the last 12 years, CIDE has undertaken several contracts for a number of General Directorates (mainly DGVI and XII) of the European Commission. CIDE has also the capability of managing and working in International Consortia. As an example of this capability, CIDE was the host institution of the first European Topic Centre on Soil of the European Environment Agency. This Centre was composed of a consortium of seven scientific European centres, and Dr. J.L. Rubio was its first Project Leader.

One of the fundamental aspect of CIDE is the research advisory activity at international and national level. The Centre participates in the elaboration, development and follow-up of the United Nation Convention to Combat Desertification including the Annexe IV of Regional Application for the Mediterranean; and in Regional and National plans to control desertification. Also participates in Committees and initiatives of European Union including the elaboration of the European Strategy on Soil Protection. Also advising to the European Parliament, OCDE, UICN, etc.



CIDE is composed of a multidisciplinary team of researchers devoted to the characterization and study of soils as a natural resource, their degradation and conservation measures; the ecology and evolution of plants; and the cartographic integration of the state and dynamics of the landscape components into thematic documents for land use planning.

The CIDE is constituted by Staff of 25 scientists and 10 technicians and administrative staff, and a number of Spanish and foreign students. The centre also has two permanent experimental field stations and a monitored catchment, for studying of hydrological processes, soil erosion and the impact of forest fires.

The research and technical staffs are structured in the following Departments and Services:

  • Department of Soil Degradation and Conservation
  • Department of Plant Ecology
  • Department of Land Use Planning
  • Documentation and Computer Service
  • Instrumental Analysis
  • Field Stations
  • General Services

The Centre has the following facilities:

  • Laboratory of soil physics
  • Laboratory of soil chemistry
  • Laboratory of hydrology
  • Laboratory of cartography and remote sensing
  • Laboratory of vegetation restoration
  • Field erosion stations and field station for experimental fires
  • Rainfall simulators
  • Geographic Information Systems and data bases
  • Library
  • Archives of aerial photographs, maps and satellite images