Along with being a dynamic process that affects large areas, desertification is also one of the most serious problems in many countries. The effects of this phenomenon threaten the sustainability of natural resources, namely water resources, agricultural production and major basic infrastructure, specifically roads and habitations. Several factors exacerbate this phenomenon such as the climate dryness, the geological and morphological characteristics of the terrain, the irrational use of space, population growth and the over-exploitation of vegetation and water resources. This work aims to evaluate the desertification index in the Oued-El-Maleh watershed, through the integration of key factors involved in the MEDALUS model (Mediterranean Desertification and Land Use) within a GIS. The model includes among its indexes: climate, vegetation, soil and management. Each index was obtained by the combination of sub-indexes. All the factors, measured and integrated into a geographic information system, enabled us to spatialize, on a synthetic map, the degree of the desertification effect throughout the watershed. This map is a managing tool available for decision-making regarding the selection of priority areas in the fight against desertification. High sensitivity to desertification class represents only 35% of the watershed. This class is concentrated in the north of the study area that corresponds to plains and low altitude. This could be explained by the dominance of agro-pastoral activity and the presence of a big population pressure.
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