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: crstra@crstra.dz - crstra_biskra@hotmail.fr

Web: http://www.crstra.dz



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 (fév. 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 : N°07, 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

Visual EUR-OPA Major Hazards