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The aims of Desertnet International (DNI) are to encourage research and promote concerted efforts in and across all disciplines concerning human and biophysical issues of dryland development and degradation. As a network, DNI i) provides a platform for scientific discussions and exchange of ideas, fosters cutting edge science, identifies topics and research areas; ii) identifies and documents scientific state of the art of the main topics in desertification assessment, risk evaluation, mitigation and restoration; iii) identifies and articulates the economic drivers and the socio-economic consequences of desertification; iv) integrates scientific findings across disciplines, translates these into common language and communicates scientific findings, and v) works in and on affected areas worldwide. As a think tank, DNI communicates with stakeholders and policy-makers. In particular, DNI i) identifies minimum consensus on consolidated knowledge; ii) evaluates scientific knowledge for stakeholders and policy makers; iii) disseminates knowledge; iv) responds to demands for assessment and information needs, addresses knowledge gaps, v) translates knowledge to improve governance, and vi) identifies issues and priorities for stakeholders and public policies.