LAND DEGRADATION & DEVELOPMENT, vol.31, no.2, pp.205-214, 2020 (SCI-Expanded)
Producing a scientific desertification risk map has become one of the national primary tasks in order to effectively combat desertification in Turkey. In this respect, General Directorate of Combating Desertification and Erosion in cooperation with TuBITAK BILGEM, generated the Desertification Model of Turkey (DMT), an original geographical and mathematical country-specific model under the umbrella project called the "Watershed Monitoring and Evaluation System" (HIDS). The DMT is a tool used for estimating land degradation, assessing desertification vulnerability and risk, preparing watershed scale risk maps, and monitoring desertification hot spots of the country. The DMT has been designed to consist of 48 indicators and 37 subindicators under seven main criteria defined by an expertise group and using the analytical hierarchy process. Percentage distribution of desertification risk among watersheds was calculated in nine classes based on the Desertification Risk Map of Turkey and revised in accordance with field surveys carried out in 2016-2017 within the scope of the DMT Verification and Calibration Project. Results for major watersheds of Turkey revealed that at least 15% of lands of all river basins are under moderate-high desertification risk, with the exception of Aras, Western Black Sea, Konya Closed, Marmara, and Meric-Ergene watersheds. In addition, it was identified that the DMT and the Desertification Risk Map of Turkey present results at an accuracy rate of 84% and with 90% level of confidence at microwatershed scale.