Pakistan: combat desertification up-scaled

 

Photo credit: Pakistanpoint

 

Efforts to combat desertification up-scaled

 

Islamabad

The climate change ministry has up-scaled its efforts to combat desertification in the country through sustainable land management.

This was stated by the ministry’s officials during a meeting of the Programme Steering Committee of the Sustainable Land Management Programme (SLMP Phase-II) here on Friday under the ministry’s leadership in partnership with UNDP, GEF and all four provinces.

The participants discussed the progress of the programme in four provinces and its achievements.

They approved the stepping up of Sustainable Land Management (SLM) up-scaling activities, which envisage SLM integrated provincial policies, technical training, effective land use planning with Geographic Information System (GIS) and implementation of climate-resilient SLM activities in partnership with communities across landscapes in the country.

Read the full article: The News

See also: https://www.pakistantribe.com/49069/pakistan-upscales-efforts-combat-desertification-sustainable-land-management

and: http://www.pakistanpoint.com/en/pakistan/news/efforts-afoot-to-combat-desertification-throu-88077.html

 

RECLAIMING DEGRADED LAND

 

Photo credit: ICRISAT

Women participants with their harvest from crops grown on reclaimed land Photo: S Abdoussalam, ICRISAT

WOMEN FARMERS DOUBLE INCOMES AND ENHANCE HOUSEHOLD NUTRITION BY RECLAIMING DEGRADED LAND

In eastern Niger, 241 hectares of degraded land was converted into productive farms for 10,770 women through the Bio-reclamation of Degraded Lands (BDL) system. This has resulted in a 50% increase in agri-income over non-BDL participants. These impacts are from a mid-term evaluation study conducted at the end of three years of a five-year project.

The results were shared with the local communities in 172 villages in the district of Mayahi (Maradi region) and Kantche (Zinder region) in a series of meetings over the past few months.

The initial results of the impact evaluation conducted by the ICRISAT socio-economics team show that the BDL system had a positive effect on women by giving them access to land and increasing their income. The 0.02 hectare piece of land allocated to each woman in the BDL plot of 1 ha resulted in an average increase in the household income of women participants by 14,345 FCFA (US$26) which is approximately a 50% increase over non-BDL participants. This does not include income from the forestry component, which if added raised the average household income to US$100.

The BDL system has an agroforestry component that incorporates high-value trees and vegetables in a holistic system, with the aim of reversing damage to soils caused by overgrazing and intensive farming. It is a climate-smart technology that helps regenerate the landscape by improving soil fertility through carbon sequestration via tree roots and reducing soil erosion.

The technology developed by ICRISAT had two main components – water harvesting techniques and high-value nutritious trees and annual crops.

Read the full article: ICRISAT

 

Protecting the environment, empowering people(IFAD)

 

 

https://www.ifad.org/documents/10180/e036916a-9d15-463f-8952-56d1566d7ac8

The Drylands Advantage

Protecting the environment, empowering people 

“Recognition of the true value of ecosystem services, and of the opportunities they offer, will enable better planning and realization of the full economic potential of dryland ecosystems, rebutting the common perception that drylands are ‘economic wastelands’” (IUCN, 2009).

Table of Contents

Acronyms 4

Introduction 5

China: Boosting biodiversity for benefits to people and the environment 9

Jordan: Sustainable land management 15

Nicaragua: Nutrition security in the Dry Corridor in the face of El Niño 21

Senegal: What a little freshwater can do 27

Swaziland: Grass-roots governance beats overgrazing and gully erosion 32

Conclusions and next steps 37

References and resources consulted 39

How land restoration has transformed landscapes and livelihoods

 

Photo credit: Agroforestry World

Aba Hawi next to a dam in Tigray

Fresh water, the reward of land restoration, flows in Ethiopia’s dry zone

Success stories of how land restoration has transformed landscapes and livelihoods in four watersheds of Tigray, Northern Ethiopia

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Crop ready for harvest under a Faidherbia albida tree – http://blog.worldagroforestry.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/IMG_3161-300×200.jpeg

Fresh water — its availability or lack thereof— is a powerful signal of the health of an ecosystem.

On a whirlwind tour of four watersheds in Tigray province, located on the northernmost tip of Ethiopia, we found large and small dams full of clean water, productive boreholes and even waterfalls. People were busy harvesting heavy crops of teff and wheat, and the cows and goats around the trees looked healthy and well fed.

Land restoration has brought back water and vibrant colour to a previously bleak and desolate landscape just south of the Sahara.

The visit was arranged as part of the African Forest Landscape Restoration Initiative (AFR100) inaugural conference, held from 11-12 October 2016 in Addis Ababa. After discussing plans for restoring 100 million hectares of the continent’s degraded landscapes, 50 international participants were taken to Tigray see what land restoration can do for landscapes and people.

Read the full article: Agroforestry World

Desertification risk assessment tool

 

Photo credit: DESIRE

http://www.desire-his.eu/images/stories/rsgallery/display/D2.2.3%20fig%202a.jpg.jpg

Stage 4 in the process of linking desertification and land degradation indicators to land use practices

Effective land desertification protection requires both appropriate land management practices and macro policy approaches that promote sustainability of ecosystem services. It is preferable for actions to focus on protection or prevention rather than on rehabilitation of desertified areas since such areas are usually at high stage of land degradation and the expected profitability of applying measures is low.
d2-2-3-fig-6
Photo credit: DESIRE – http://www.desire-his.eu/images/stories/rsgallery/original/D2.2.3%20fig%206.jpg

The priority for land users is to apply appropriate land management practices to protect the productivity of sensitive areas to desertification and thus prevent active degradation processes.

A number of indicators have been shown to be important in affecting land degradation processes or causes. Many of the indicators are for properties that cannot easily altered at farm level (such as Soil depth, Slope gradient and Rainfall seasonality). However, indicators related to land management (such as No tillage, Storage of water runoff, and Grazing control) can be changed by the farmer.

A Desertification Risk Assessment Tool has been designed to enable users to

  • analyse a wide range of alternatives for land management practices for reducing land desertification risk;
  • evaluate and select the most important indicators through which desertification risk may be assessed in a variety of locales worldwide;
  • develop a consensus among various groups (such as politicians, managers and experts) when assessing desertification risks.

Read the full article: DESIRE

Helping smallholders restore degraded forests

 

Photo credit: SciDevNet

Copyright: Ochieng’ Ogodo

African initiative calls for focus on land restoration

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Ochieng’ Ogodo

Speed read

  • A meeting has called for a need to create evidence to restore Africa’s forests
  • Collaborations among universities could help generate more evidence
  • Governments should be committed to helping smallholders restore degraded forests

Generating sufficient scientific knowledge to restore degraded land is critical in Africa because the continent largely depends on land and other natural resources for socioeconomic development, experts say.

Most populations, it was noted at the 1st African Forest Landscape Restoration (AFR100) Regional Conference this month (11-12 October) in Ethiopia, depend on land for livelihoods, but there has been massive degradation and this calls for, among others, adequate knowledge for restoration, particularly by small-scale farmers.

“Rivers are drying, Lake Chad is gone, Lake Turkana in Kenya is receding and [thus] people have to take restoration very seriously.”

Alice Akinyi Kaudia, Kenya’s Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources.

“This requires inter-universities collaborations because not all African universities are well endowed with enough resources to generate needed knowledge and tools,” says Alice Akinyi Kaudia, environmentsecretary in Kenya’s Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources. “It will [also] be useful to develop centres of excellence within them to address this urgently.”

The AFR100 conference was organised by the New Economic Partnership for Africa’s Development, Federal German Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development, the World Bank, and the World Resources Institute.

Read the full article: SciDevNet

Making land fertile again

 

Photo credit: FAO

FAO’s Action Against Desertification programme is expanding a successful land restoration model across the Sahel

Land restoration in northern Niger is making degraded areas productive again, providing economic opportunities in a region where migration has become a tradition. Now, under FAO’s Action Against Desertification programme, these efforts are being expanded to six African countries.

When Moumouni Nuhu returned to his village after thirty years, everything was gone, the trees, the animals, everything. In his youth they would chase hares, antelopes, guinea fowl – a bit too much, maybe.

“The harmattan blows with a terrible force now. It takes all nutritious elements out of the soil,” says this 65-year old retired civil servant in Bajirga, his community on the outskirts of Tera, a dusty town in north-western Niger, known for its cattle market that attracts traders from as far as Nigeria.

Who can be surprised that youth are leaving, Moumouni asks, dressed in a white robe and sitting in the shade of a tree. Pointing out the barren field around him where women are digging under a scourging sun, he says: “We have to make degraded land fertile again.”

Travel and see

If you have a reason to stay home, you don’t leave, says Hassan Gado (51), who has just returned after a long life of work abroad. He first left in 1984, sold cigarettes in Lagos, worked in the port of Cotonou and then in a shoe-shop in Lomé.

In 2010, someone offered him a boat trip to Spain, but Hassan was told that the captain of the ship did not know about it. He got scared he would be thrown overboard when discovered and decided not to go.

Being a migrant worker is hard, Hassan says. You don’t have any family. Sometimes you don’t even have a place to sleep. But there are good times too. “I went out to see the world,” says Hassan. “Bob Marley said: ‘Travel and see’. If you always stay where you are, you don’t learn anything.”

Not trees only

A truck has arrived today from the national forest seed center in Niger’s capital Niamey, loaded with seeds for communities around Tera that have been involved in land restoration activities since 2013.

Maman Adda, Director of the center, explains that communities are at the heart of restoration efforts. Seeds were selected based on extensive village consultations. Capacity development of village technician is continuous. Seed collection took place with help of the seed center and, next, seeds are planted in village nurseries. Since 2013, five nurseries were established around Tera, now producing 100 000 seedlings per year.

Today’s shipment from Niamey contains seeds of shrubs and grasses. “Restoration is not only about planting trees”, Maman Adda says. As fast-growing species, shrubs and grasses produce within one year, while the output is fodder grass, not only essential to feed the animals of a population that is predominantly pastoralist or mixes farming with cattle grazing. It sells well on Tera’s market too.