“Land Degradation and Desertification: a Global Crisis”
ed. by Abiud Kaswamila
This volume is dedicated to land degradation which is caused by multiple forces-extreme weather conditions and anthropogenic activities that pollute or degrade the quality of soils and land utility-negatively affects food production, livelihoods, and the provision of other ecosystem goods and services. Land degradation can also lead to climate change and affect human health.
The problem is more pronounced in least developing countries due to overdependence of natural resources for survival.
Sustainable ways to reduce land degradation and desertification demand research and advocacy of sustainable land management practices.
This book is organized into two sections.
The first section covers three major aspects, viz., an understanding of patterns of land degradation and desertification for developing mitigation strategies, land-atmosphere interaction from response of land cover to climate change effects of Karst rocky desertification, and the effect of unprecedented human activity into land degradation and desertification processes using natural and human-induced landscape research.
The last section dwells on the relationship between soil degradation and crop production and an examination on how land degradation impacts the quality of soil in communal rangelands.
Environmentalists, land-use planners, ecologists, pedologists, researchers, and graduate students will find this book to be an essential resource.
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.
How to grow fresh food in all kinds of recipients that can hold soil
by Prof. Dr. Willem VAN COTTHEM (Ghent University, Belgium)
Grow your vegetables and herbs at home in pots, buckets, bottles, cups, barrels, bags, sacks, whatever can hold soil. See some of my photos below:
Imagine every family in the drylands, every school, every hospital, every maternity would have a container garden like the one below: wouldn’t you believe that we can alleviate malnutrition and hunger ? Wouldn’t we have a serious chance to ameliorate the standards of living of all the people living in desertified areas.
Problems ? What problems ?
Teach the people how to set up a small kitchen garden with some containers and do not forget:
They do not have containers ? Offer them the necessary quantity at the lowest cost, or even for free, because that would be sustainable development in the purest sense.
Let them make their own potting soil by mixing local soil with manure.
Offer them some good quality seeds and teach them how to collect seeds afterwards.
Before rejecting this idea, have a last look at the photo of my experimental garden below and consider the potentialities of this method.
Shall we go for the rehabilitation of 2 billion hectares of degraded land in Africa (and how much on the other continents ?), or shall we go for a feasible support of the poorest and hungry people on Earth?
A CIFOR scientist (left) inspects Arenillo seeds collected by a Kichwa timber producer. These seeds will be replanted by the farmer to reforest his land in Napo Province, Ecuador. Tomas Munita/CIFOR Photo
New global forest restoration initiatives – such as the Bonn Challenge, Initiative 20×20, AFR100, the Convention on Biological Diversity Aichi Targets – present an unparalleled opportunity to reverse the trend of deforestation and forest degradation in the coming years. However, those who work in forest restoration have countless stories of failed projects. How can we minimize these failures, learn from other restoration initiatives and build success from the ground up?
Restoration experts agree: monitoring is essential to restoration success. But is monitoring being given enough attention in the current major global initiatives?
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.
A farmer shows his failed crops and farmland in the Megenta area of Afar, Ethiopia, Jan.26, 2016.
Sahel Countries in Race Against Time to Regreen Africa’s Spreading Desert
The areas surrounding the Sahara desert which decades ago were covered with forests, crops and grasslands, can be restored — a significant chunk of them by 2030 — agriculture experts said after viewing the results of a detailed survey of the region.
For the first time, the Sahel area straddling 27 countries has been mapped in painstaking detail showing where and how the work can be done — and just how big the job is to create what is called Africa’s Great Green Wall.
Home to some 232 million people, it stretches coast to coast, from Senegal in the west to Djibouti in the east, and along Africa’s northern shores.
Some 166 million hectares of land have been identified for restoration in the survey — nearly three times the size of Kenya or France.
To halt and reverse the impact of decades of overgrazing and deforestation, around 10 million hectares will need to be restored each year, according to the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), which published the map.
‘Battle against time’
“It’s a battle against time, because dryland forests are disappearing and climate change is really happening — and more droughts and floods will not make the work easy,” said Nora Berrahmouni, forestry officer for drylands at FAO.
The Socio-Economic Causes and Consequences of Desertification in Central Asia
This book contains a selection of papers presented at the Advanced Research Workshop on a The Socio-economic causes and consequences of desertification in Central Asiaa (TM) held in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, in June 2006. The meeting provided a forum for scientists from Central Asia and NATO countries to discuss the human dimensions of the desertification process. Papers presented to the meeting examined recent scientific evidence on the impact of desertification and contributed to the formulation of coherent national and regional policies for the management of watersheds, rangelands, and irrigated agriculture. These issues were examined from the perspective of environmental policy formulation, with respect to overgrazing by livestock, and in terms of a series of case studies of natural resource degradation and desertification control.