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Drought and desertification are largely considered as the major and most complex natural hazards. This is mainly due to the complexity of the web of impacts that ripple through too many sectors causing serious economic, social and environmental consequences. Hence, a wide range of actors are interested by drought effects. Empirical investigations in scientific literature have highlighted the differences between the stakeholder' perceptions of drought and desertification phenomena and the results of scientific – technical evaluation. There is no unique definition of the problem, but each individual has her/his own perception of drought and desertification, which is influenced by previous drought experiences and the mental models used to analyse these experiences. This could result in ambiguity in the definition of the problem. The ambiguity in drought and desertification definition could have a strong negative impact on the effectiveness of mitigation strategies. For these reasons, the involvement of stakeholder in the decision making process for drought and desertification management since its early stages has played a fundamental role. This work describes the experiences done to support drought and desertification management in the Apulia Region (Southern Italy). The methods and tools adopted in two different phases are described and the lessons learned during the process are discussed. The work is structured as follows: in section 1 there is an introduction and a description of the backgrounds regarding the project and the investigated territory. The objectives of the study and the empirical methodology applied state in section 2. Section 3 presents discussion and suggestion on decision making process. Conclusions and final remarks are proposed in section 4.


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