International Network for the Sustainability of Drylands

The International Network for Drylands Sustainability (RISZA) is comprised of multiple and diverse members representing academic institutions, civil society organizations in general, such as governmental and non-governmental organizations, civil associations, and members of civil society, indigenous groups, and individuals. Its purpose is to strengthen a research agenda and carry out activities that promote opportunities and address challenges towards sustainable development in arid/semi-arid areas.

One of RISZA's main projects is the creation of Participatory Socio-Ecological Observatories (PSEOs) as a new modus operandi to address the national issue of loss and degradation of cultural and biotic diversity at the local level (of national and international interest). Participatory Socio-Ecological Observatories (PSEOs) are a socio-environmental innovation and provide a space for the consolidation of formal and informal alliances for sustainability through placed-based learning communities that share diverse knowledge, technologies, and innovations. In collaboration, they employ capacities and expertise to examine core issues from multiple perspectives, in a systemic, comprehensive, long-term, iterative, and adaptive manner. The latter helps strengthen governance and learning to collectively identify and explore opportunities. For more information, visit our websites:

Mapimí Observatory


Guadalupe Observatory


Comcaac Observatory


The PSEOs are housed within the Participatory Desert Repository, which is a virtual space designed to strengthen placed-based learning communities in Socio-Ecological Systems within arid regions. Its purpose is to collaboratively generate knowledge, as well as to produce, manage, preserve, organize, facilitate access and exchange, and disseminate digital information. This repository contains publicly accessible information, but it also features a user/password system for uploading and accessing information, where each user can select their desired level of privacy. For more information, please visit our website: