The Center 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 N°. 91-478 of December 14th, 1991, as amended by decree N°03-458 of December 01st, 2003 and is regulated by the executive decree N° 11-396 of November 24th, 2011 determining the statutes of the public institution with a scientific and technical vocation. This center which is noted by the legal personality and by the financial autonomy is launched under the auspices of the Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research.;

CRSTRA is tasked with the following missions

  • Carry out scientific and technical research programs on arid regions and/or regions threatened with drought or desertification;
  • Undertake and/or participate in any multidisciplinary research relative to Arid Zones ;
  • Constitute a scientific and technical databank on arid regions and to process, store and disseminate these data ;
  • Contribute in every research aimed at understanding and fighting against human vulnerability to environmental changes.
Is the director of the scientific and technical research center on arid regions -Omar El Bernaoui -CRSTRA. see more...

The CRSTRA is responsible for developing scientific and technical research and maintain an ecological eve through continuous observation and the setting up of a scientific and technical database at the level of arid and semi arid territories (Saharan and steppe regions) which cover more than 2 million km2 or more than 85% of the national territory.

After a detailed diagnosis of the research situation at the CRSTRA, in terms of impact and effect on the development of these regions, given the numerous and complex missions assigned on the one hand and taking into account both the immensity, diversity, potentialities and the vulnerability of arid ecosystems.On the other, it was necessary, even imperative to develop a research strategy specific to the CRSTRA which handle issues by thematic and spatial priorities of these environments.

With respect to the political purpose expressed and for sustainable development of arid regions , we seized the opportunity of an assessment by an expert group to ensure the alignment of our activities relating to this major objective.

Thus , we have setting up a priority strategic axes in April 2006.and a sketch of a plan for development of the center with a physical anchor of the institution at the relevant territories through a network of observatories and transfer..

From an objective analysis of the situation and the identification of sectoral, territorial, socio-economic and scientific issues, the think thank identified five major areas :

  1. Optimizing the use of water resources
  2. Saharan agriculture
  3. The steppe and desertification
  4. Climate / Environment
  5. Socioeconomic aspects
  • Implementation of National Research Programmes for the Development of Arid Regions in the fields :
    • Environment ;
    • Major Riskses ;
    • Land Use Planning ;
    • Water Resources;
    • Agriculture, Rural and Socio-Economic Development ;
    • Renewable Energy.
  • Specific studies of expertise and engineering ;
  • A crash course in the areas of interest of the Centre;
  • The organization of seminars, workshops and other scientific meetings related to its mission;
  • The ecological and technological intelligence in Arid Regions.
  • Scientific publishing :
    • International Review, "Journal of Algerian Arid Regions" ;
    • Scientific literature;
    • Films and science videos ;
    • Proceedings ;
    • Thesis and PhD, Magisterium, Engineering and DES dissertations;
    • Cartographic Records ;
  • Technical data sheets.

Biskra: is located at the foot of the southern slope of the Aures massif, where two valleys that run through this massive, Biskra represents at the Eastern of Algeria, the first step and the door of Saharan region..
In addition to the water and soil resources which allowed the practice of oasis agriculture, this pivotal position made Biskra as a natural relay of the North-South flows..
Since the Roman era, the site was used by successive occupants, as a stronghold and administrative and commercial center.
The chief town, with a population of 59,000 inhabitants in 1966, reached in the last census (1998) 178 064 inhabitants, 3 times higher,in three Decades.
This city has a major university and date palm cultivation center. It also has an international airport that connects the city with the capital and abroad.

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