UNCW earth science professor given three-year appointment to United Nations convention for land degradation policy recommendations

Dr. Narcisa Pricope, professor in the Department of Earth and Ocean Sciences at UNCW
Dr. Narcisa Pricope, professor in the Department of Earth and Ocean Sciences at UNCW(UNCW (portrait), WECT (background))
Published: Dec. 8, 2022 at 12:38 PM EST
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WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) - The University of North Carolina Wilmington Professor Dr. Narcisa Pricope has accepted a three-year appointment to work with a United Nations convention aimed at developing policies to protect the ecosystem.

Professor in the Department of Earth and Ocean Sciences, Pricope will help with analysis of scientific data, future projections and policy recommendations regarding land degradation with the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification Science-Policy Initiative.

“Addressing land degradation is essential to improve the livelihoods of those most affected and to build resilience to safeguard against the most extreme effects of climate change. The impacts on natural habitats–flora and fauna–and the human system can be equally detrimental,” said Pricope.

Pricope co-authored research suggesting that an estimated 20+ percent of the Earth’s vegetated surface is degraded, impacting over 1.3 billion people. Extreme weather events can accelerate land degradation, whether that’s grasslands being replaced with unpalatable shrubs or rising tides causing erosion in coastal areas.

“We need to carefully balance how to manage, restore or conserve our ecosystems to ensure they continue to function in a manner that supports life and livelihoods equally, which is challenging yet doable, and that is what I’m hoping to contribute through my involvement in the UNCCD SPI,” Pricope said.