laureanoPIETERO LAUREANO Architect and town planner, is a Unesco consultant on arid areas and ecosystems in danger. He worked for eight years in the Sahara desert and coordinated projects in Algeria, Jordan, Yemen and Ethiopia. He is one of the 1,300 experts who took part to the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment (MA) launched by UN Secretary-General in 2001. In his quality as Italian representative in the technical scientific committee of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) and as President of the Traditional Knowledge Panel promoted a World data Bank on the Traditional Knowledge systems ( At present this mission is being carried out by the research centre IPOGEA that was founded by the author in the Sassi of Matera and is located now in Florence, Italy. IPOGEA, Research Centre on Local and Traditional Knowledge, coordinates EU projects in 10 countries all over the Mediterranean and research and landscape restoration works carried out by means of traditional techniques and their innovative use.