European and Mediterranean Major Hazards Agreement


Updated : January 2011


Centre for Scientific and Technical Research on Arid Regions Omar El Bernaoui - CRSTRA

Address: Campus Universitaire, Med Kheider,  BP 1682 R.P BISKRA 07000 - Algeria
Tel.: 00 213 33 73 42 14

Fax: 00 213 33 74 18 15
E-mail: -



Decree No. 91- 478 of December 14th, 1991


The Centre for Scientific and Technical Research on Arid Regions (C.R.S.T.R.A) is a public institution of a scientific and technical nature (EPST) established by Decree No. 91-478 of December 14th, 1991, as amended by Decree No. 185 of December 1st, 2003 and governed by executive decree No. 83-521 of September 10th, 1983. 

The head office is domiciled in Biskra, Algeria.

Director: Ms Fattoum LAKHDARI

Chairman of the Scientific Advisory Board: Mohamed Tahar BENAZZOUZ


CRSTRA is tasked with the following missions:

- To carry out scientific and technical research programs on arid regions and/or regions threatened with drought or desertification
- To undertake and/or participate in an multidisciplinary research on Arid Zones;
- To constitute a scientific and technical databank on arid regions and to process, to store and to disseminate these data;
To participate in any research aimed at understanding and fighting against human vulnerability to environmental changes.



Research activities revolve around five strategic directions axes:

1. Hydrous resources exploitation optimization

2. Saharan Agriculture

3. Steppe and desertification

4. Climate / Environment

5. Socioeconomic aspects


The scientific organization of the Center fits with the research programs :

Division : Biological Resources in Arid Zones

Objectives : To contribute to conservation and rational management of bio resources.

Division : Water and Soil Resources Management in Arid zones:

Objectives : Developing Tools for Quantifying and managing quantitative and qualitative resources.

Division : Desertification Monitoring :

Objectives : Keep ecological controlling in oasis and steppe areas by developing an early warning system.

Division : Economic, Social and Cultural Development of Arid Zones :

Objectives : Study of Socio-economic and cultural mode of development.

The center has 190 permanent staff including 72 researchers divided into twenty teams:

Research Teams:

- Biological Resources in Arid Zones Division:

Team 1 : camel

Team 2 : other livestock (sheep, goats,...)

Team 3 : crop

Team 4 : plant protection

Team 5 : date palm farming

Team 6 : hardy species

Team 7 : biodiversity (fauna and flora)

Team 8 : wetlands

- Water and Soil Resources Arid Management in Arid zones Division:

Team 1 : water and environment

Team 2 : management and water resource exploitation

Team 3 : natural hazards risks related to water

Team 4 : water quality

Team 5 : salts - soil - plant

- Desertification Monitoring Division :

Team 1 : desertification

Team 2 : standing

Team 3 : climate changes

Team 4 : agricultural development and recovery of saharan species

- Economic, Social and Cultural Development of Arid Zones Division:

Team 1 : farm credit

Team 2 : the work-force in agriculture

Team 3 : contracts in agriculture

Team 4 : marketing of fruit and vegetation

• Its scientific term scope covers Saharan and steppe areas.

• Experimental field and obervatories networks Center.


Training courses are conducted for researchers and support staff to research. The most recent are:

- Intensive course: Tools and concepts in development research methodology (2007)

- Training workshop on the floristic and faunal bearings of wetlands in arid regions (fv. 2008)

- GIS - Remote Sensing Technique (2007/2008)

- Intensive courses in statistics and data processing 2008-2010

- Courses : Vegetation Mapping (Case of steppes and the Saharan regions) (2010)


Official and non official cooperative relationships exist at national and international level :

      1.  National:

* Universities, Centers of research and research agencies (ASAL, ANRH, ABHS, DGF, CRAG, CGC, ONM ....etc).

- Technical and research institutes (INRAA, ITGC, HCDS, INPV... etc)

      2.  International:

- Non official relationships with other specialized centers of EUR-OPA network,

- the NEPAD, in the field of science and technology. CRSTRA is considered as a regional center.

In the framework of conventions and agreements with universities and research institutions (Arizona (USA), CNRS/CEREGE (Aix-en-Provence, France), IRA (Medenine, Tunisia), Centre de Ravello Cagliari TELEGIS (Italie), University of TSUKUBA (Japan)...

Having as objectives ; The exchange of experience, development projects and improvement of researchers.

- In the framework international projects:

* OSS/Roselt: observatory project in the steppes and high plains of Algeria

* AUF Agence Universitaire of Francophonie: architecture and development in arid zones

* De Survey Project:  “Assessment and Monitoring System of Desertification”. 
* Life Project: “Setting-up a system for monitoring drought in the south shore of the Mediterranean:  Tunisia - Algeria – Morocco”. 


Most recent publications: 

-Review :

- Annual review : "Algerian Journal of Arid Regions" (JARA), Latest Edition : N07, August 2009

- Scientific books:
- Educational manual : Pilot Experience of Education and Environmental Awareness on Climate Change (21 April 07)
Proceedings of scientific meetings including the activities on the naturel hazards;

- Proceedings of international study on desertification and sustainable development (10-12 juin 2006)

- Proceedings of the Study and awareness in the Quantification of aeolian sand and the Fight against desertification (21-22 Jan 2007)

- Proceedings of the International meeting for the Impact of Climate Change on arid and semi arid (2008)

- Proceedings of the International Symposim on Dry farming and sustainable development (Acts in 2 volumes, 2009)

- Movies, scientific videos and CD;

- CD : Using Remote Sensing and GIS in the realization of a spatial map of touristic site "Case of the Wilaya of Biskra" (25-29 March 2006)

- Proceedings ;

- Doctorate, Master, Engineering, Postgraduate Thesis and dissertations;

- Cartographic documents; specifications sheet.

Publication in progress:

- International review J.A.R.A. "Algerian Journal of Arid Areas" issue 08

- Book : natural hazard and disasters


Over forty scientific meetings (seminars, symposia, workshops, study days, etc...) were organized or co-organized by the CRSTRA since 1997 till nowaday. Among the latest scientific events, we note:

- Workshop on the strategic objectives of the Centre, 17-18 April 2006, Biskra

- The International meeting on desertification and sustainable development, 10-12 June 2006, Biskra

- Study Days and Awareness of the quantification in aeolian sand and the Fight against desertification, 21-22 January 2007, Ouargla

- Pilot Experience of Education and Environmental Awareness on Climate Change, 20 April 2007, Biskra

- Pilot Experience of Education and Environmental Awareness on Climate change/in collaboration with the green club "L'oasis" CEM Touggourt, Ouargla, 2008

- Restoration and evaluation Workshop of the project DAYA CLIM, 11-12 June 2007, Biskra

- Thematic workshop for the development of programmes with short, medium or long term, 11 July 2007, Biskra

- The International meeting on the Impact of Climate Change on Arid and semi arid, 15-17 December 2007, Biskra

- Regional Workshop on Wetlands in arid regions, 2-3 February 2008, Biskra

- Study of the awareness of water resources management in arid regions, 15 March 2008, Biskra

- Study on products and derived date palm (in the framework of the PME/PMI) at the request of local authorities, 9 November 2008, Biskra

- International Symposium on dryland farming, Optimization of Agricultural Production and Sustainable Development, 13-14 December 2008

- International Workshop of Training on the natural hazards and Natural disasters, December 6-10, 2009

- Internal Seminar of evaluation and coordination of research Inter-division is organized annually at the CRSTRA

- International workshop: Drought: Analysis and Adaptation Strategies, 21-22 November 2010, Biskra

- Workshop on the phenological watch of strategic and endemic species, 26-27 October 2011, Biskra

- Use and valorisation of water resources for the sustainable development of arid ecosystems, 13-15 November 2011, Biskra

Back to the list of the Centres