The Arid Zone Programmefirst staried by Unesco in 1949 was placed under the guidance of the Advisory Committee for Arid Zone Research when it was established in the spring of 1951 and, from 1957 to 1962, became one of the ‘ major projects’ of the Organiz&ion. During that period it was possille to use additional funds and thereby to provide increased assistance to some research institutes and also to sponsor certain activities connected with the essential aims of the programme. Though that period is now over, the arid zone programme is nevertheless con- tinuing as part of Unesco’s scienliJic research activity concerning natural resources, and further works are being published in the Arid Zone Research series. This series comprises at present twenty-seven volumes dealing either with reviews of research on various special subjects such as hydrology, plant ecology, utilization of saline water, human and animal ecology, climatology, etc., or with the proceedings of symposia organized by Unesco on these same subjects as part of the arid zone programme. The International Geographical Union and and the Advi- In view of the fact that a large amount of air moisture is brought to these regions from the sea and since it will probably be possible in the near future to use demineralized sea-water for domestic and industrial purposes, they ofler special characteristics and potential economic interest which led the Advisory Committee to recommend that a study, as comprehensive as possible, be made, The task was entrusted to Dr. Peveril Meigs, chairman of the Arid Zone Commission of the International Geographical Union. His work is now completed and presented in the following pages. In oflering this volume to readers particularly interested sory Committee for Arid Zone Research have both expressed particular interest in the coastal deserts of the world. in the problems of the arid zones, Unesco wishes to thank Dr. Peveril Meigs-whose well-known homoclimatic maps of the arid zones were published by Iinesco in 1952-for adding this interesting survey of coastal deserts to the Arid Zone Research series. It should not need particular emphasis that the points of view, selection of material and opinions expressed in this volume are those of the author. References to geographical names or political frontiers do not imply any recognition on the part of the Organization.
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