L’utilisation des ressources naturelles au Sahel et en Afrique de l’Ouest



Conventions locales de gestion des ressources naturelles: schema pastoral au sud du Mali


En Afrique de l’Ouest, comme dans la plupart des pays d’Afrique Sub-Sahélienne, les ressources naturelles constituent la base de la vie quotidienne des hommes, particulièrement pour les pauvres qui dans la majorité des cas vivent dans le milieu rural où leur moyens de subsistances dépendent presque exclusivement des activités agricoles et de l’élevage.

La production agricole et l’élevage caractérise essentiellement l’économie de la région et se situe au cœur de l’utilisation des ressources naturelles au Sahel et en Afrique de l’Ouest. De nombreux facteurs, tels que l’augmentation constante de la population et l’accroissement des troupeaux, ont pour conséquence l’apparition d’une pression croissante sur ces ressources.

Cette vidéo met en évidence une tentative réussie par ILRI et AMEDD pour arrêter ce problème dans le sud du Mali.

Read the full story: Africa Rising

Sustaining the resilience of farming systems in different agro-ecologies



Participants at the workshop. Photo: Jerome Jonah, ICRISAT


Stakeholders reviewed, consolidated and charted pathways for sustaining the resilience of farming systems in different agro-ecologies of the semi-arid regions of West and Central Africa, at a workshop in Nigeria.

The presentations addressed the functioning and the integration of the drivers of resilience and components of effective technology packaging and delivery with the overall aim of increasing production and productivity of the farming systems.

The discussions provided an avenue for prioritizing research extension, policy and options for funding to attain large-scale impact across the region. From the deliberations the following trends and research gaps were noted:

  • Growing demand for crop-livestock products in WCA
  • Changes in the structure of the demand for food which are driven by increased per capita income and rapid urbanization resulting in change in diets and preferences
  • Price volatility of major agricultural produce and natural resources associated with marketing of agricultural produce
  • Challenges of managing pastoralism and dealing with issues of conflicts between pastoralism and farmers
  • Climate change is a major issue impacting agricultural production and attainment of food security
  • Inadequate synergy between research and policy and low participation of women and youth in agricultural extension, thereby limiting service delivery to women in key value chains.

The workshop recommendations for addressing the above issues included:

Read the full article: ICRISAT

Effects of small-scale farmers on the environment, biodiversity and economy



Small-scale agriculture threatens the rainforest

October 14, 2016
Lund University
An extensive study has mapped the effects of small farmers on the rain forests of Southeast Asia for the first time. The findings are discouraging, with regard to environmental impact, biodiversity and the economy, over the long term.

Read the full article: Science Daily

Who owns the seeds produced in nature ?


Photo credit: Bioversity International

Women’s shifting rights to precious tree resources in Burkina Faso

By Barbara Vinceti, Scientist

Néré (Parkia biglobosa)—the African locust bean—is a very important tree species not only in Burkina Faso but across West Africa. It plays a significant role in the diet of rural and urban populations in Burkina Faso’s Sudano-Sahelian zone. The fruit provides seeds, which women process into a highly nutritious sauce (soumbala) that is eaten with grain-based dishes. Although women are the ones to harvest néré seeds for income and direct consumption, they have no secure access to tree resources. Moreover, the density of néré is declining because of threats hindering its regeneration, including population growth and the expansion of cultivated crops in an extensive agrarian system. In a condition of resource scarcity and increasing demand, changes in women’s use and access rights are taking place.

Catherine Pehou, a young researcher from Burkina Faso, shared her findings on shifting access rights to néré in a session on ‘Adoption, innovation and gender perspectives’ at the annual Tropentag conference held in Vienna from 19-21 September, 2016. Pehou analyzed the dynamic nature of women’s access rights and control over néré in three villages in Central-West Burkina Faso, inhabited by autochthonous (Nouni) and migrant ethnic groups (Mossi and Fulani). Through a mix of methods including participant observation, Catherine mapped the access rights of 180 women to 400 néné trees.

Read the full article: Bioversity International

Sustainable water bird management for food security


Photo credit: UN News Centre

A flock of Ruffs in central Sudan. Birds are crucial for food security for the local populations. Photo: FAO/ONCFS

Sahel: UN and French conservation group partner on sustainable water bird management for food security

The United Nations Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) today announced a new partnership with the French Facility for Global Environment (FFEM), aiming at adopting sustainable water bird hunting management to protect wetland resources in Africa’s Sahel region which are crucial for food security and economic development.

“Our goal is to adapt water bird hunting by promoting sustainable hunting management and bird conservation policies which will benefit those local communities who rely on birds for their livelihoods,” Eva Muller, Director of FAO’s Forestry Policy and Resources Division, said in a new release.

The newly-signed agreement between FAO and FFEM will co-fund one third of the five million euros project, specifically targeting the following main wetlands in the Sahel region: Chad, Egypt, Mali, Senegal and Sudan.

The ‘Strengthening expertise in Sub -Saharan Africa on birds and their rational use for communities and their environment’ (RESSOURCE) project will focus on wetlands situated in the Senegal River Valley, Inner Niger Delta, Lake Chad and the lower and middle reaches of the Nile.

These are ecosystem sites of critical importance where the food security and livelihoods of nearly a billion people depend on agriculture, livestock and natural resource use, including fishing and bird hunting, said FAO.

Read the full article: UN News Centre

Small, unmanned helicopters to measure the parameters for the forest inventory



Forest inventory: Unmanned helicopters on a data collection mission

October 3, 2016
Alpen-Adria-Universität Klagenfurt | Graz | Wien
In many forests, the collection of information pertaining to the wood remains neglected, due to a shortage of specially trained personnel, specific expertise, funding, or appropriate technology. A new project aims to put small, unmanned helicopters to work, measuring the parameters for the forest inventory.

Read the full article: Science Daily



Photo credit: ZED

Reforestation with willow cuttings

Cut a branch and stick it in the ground

A number of interesting comments in:



Cuttings and Bioengineering in Restoration

* Growth Response of Three Native Shrubs – Paul R. Cereghino
* Streambank and Shoreline Protection NRCS Engineering Field Handbook Chapter 16
* The Practical Streambank Bioengineering Guide – NRCS Aberdeen, Idaho
* The Stinger Technical Notes Plant Materials No. 6 – NRCS Boise, Idaho
* Factors Affecting Selection, Acquisition and Use of Plant Materials in a Soil Bioengineering Project Technical Notes Plant Materials No. 18 – NRCS Portland, Oregon
* Soil Bioengineering Demonstration Project, Coyote Creek, Lane County, Oregon: First and Second Years Technical Notes Plant Materials No. 19 – NRCS Portland, Oregon
* Producing Pacific Northwest Native Trees and Shrubs in Hardwood Cutting Blocks or Stooling Beds Technical Notes Plant Materials No. 24 – NRCS Portland, Oregon
* Ability of Pacific Northwest Native Shrubs to Root from Hardwood Cuttings (with Summary Propagation Methods for 22 Species Technical Notes Plant Materials No. 30 – NRCS Portland, Oregon
* Native Shrubs as a Supplement to the Us of Willows as Live Stakes and Fascines in Western Oregon and Western Washington Technical Notes Plant Materials No. 31 – NRCS Portland, Oregon
* Waterjet Stinger Technical Notes Plant Materials No. 39 – NRCS Boise, Idaho
* Vegetative Propagation of Poplar and Willow – Greg Morgenson

Four different plant species planted together for optimal crop and soil performance.


Photo credit: Science Daily

Chris Pelzer, Ann Bybee-Finley, and Casey McManus (L-R) clean up the edges of a cowpea plot about 30 days after planting the first field site for the experiment. Four different plant species are planted together in a team effort to diversify and add nutrients to the soil.
Credit: Sustainable Cropping Systems Lab

Intercropping: Intersection of soil health, production

Cornell University.

September 21, 2016
American Society of Agronomy (ASA), Crop Science Society of America (CSSA)
Plant diversity in intercropping leads to more diversity below ground too. Researchers are working to find the right combination for optimal crop and soil performance.

Read the full article: Science Daily

How to save Hawaii’s nature and culture



Conservation and tradition to save Hawaiian ecosystem (SLIDESHOW)

The islands of Hawaii form a unique and fragile ecosystem thousands of miles away from the nearest landmass. The legends and rituals of the nation’s indigenous people, ancestors of the first Polynesian settlers, are closely connected with the island’s plants, animals and landscape.

Tourism, industrial activity and modern recreation have since depleted Hawaii’s natural ecosystem and introduced invasive species that have caused severe damage. And along with indigenous plants and animals, the country risks losing local knowledge and customs.

Now, conservationists are teaming up with spiritual leaders to save Hawaii’s nature and culture. In many places where such work has taken place, rare species are thriving and fragile ecosystems, such as ancient cloud forests, are stabilising.

Read the full story: SciDevNet




Protecting Our Planet – Securing Our Future (1998)

Posted by Prof. Dr. Willem VAN COTTHEM

Ghent University – Belgium

Having participated in all the meetings of the INCD (1992-1994) and all the meetings of the UNCCD-COP, the CST and the CRIC in 1994-2006, I had an opportunity to collect a lot of interesting books and publications on drought and desertification published in that period.

Book Nr. 34

Please click: 


or see protecting-our-planet-securing-our-future-1998

Switchgrass (Panicum virgatum) has made headlines recently.



Switchgrass offers versatility, seasonal interest in garden

Coastal gardeners will appreciate ‘Dewey Blue’ or Blue Sand Switchgrass, a selection of Panicum amarum that thrives in dry sandy soils with low fertility. This beauty boasts striking blue-green foliage and showy inflorescences in fall.

by Amy Dabbs Columnist


‘Cloud Nine’ switchgrass is in bloom along Johnnie Dodds Boulevard in Mount Pleasant. This is one of several cultivars of this native grass planted along the same street.

Cloud Nine’ switchgrass is in bloom along Johnnie Dodds Boulevard in Mount Pleasant. This is one of several cultivars of this native grass planted along the same street. Amy Dabbs

Switchgrass (Panicum virgatum) has made headlines recently, as researchers with the U.S. Department of Energy found that it has excellent potential as a biofuel. This native grass is under close scrutiny for its fuel potential because it thrives in nearly every part of the country, can be grown easily from seed and does not require a lot of agricultural inputs such as fertilizer, pesticides or water.

Researchers are not alone in utilizing versatile switchgrass. Farmers feed its lush, warm-season growth to livestock and plant it as a windbreak between fields.

Engineers utilize switchgrass to stabilize soil and to control erosion.

Gardeners find that switchgrass makes a beautiful addition to naturalized gardens, wildflower meadows, perennial borders, pollinator gardens, rain gardens, bioswales, and many other landscape situations.

Read the full story: The Post and Courier

A new African initiative to combat desertification and strengthen resilience to climate change


Photo credit: GEF

CEO Naoko Ishii expressed GEF support for the initiative as a founding member

African drylands initiative launched at TICAD summit

A new African initiative to combat desertification and strengthen resilience to climate change in the Sahel and Horn of Africa was launched at TICAD VI in Nairobi last month. On the margins of the Sixth Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD VI), the GEF joined the  the governments of Kenya and Senegal, together with the Japan International Cooperation Agency to announce a new effort to confront the challenges of Africa’s drylands.

Speaking at the launch, GEF CEO Naoko Ishii said, “There are already a wide range of opportunities, frameworks, and ideas proposed for addressing resilience in the drylands, but translating these into tangible actions will not happen without a coordinated approach by all stakeholders, and alignment of resources and financing opportunities.” The new African initiative aims to promote measures for combating desertification by the countries in the region and supports efforts of development partners through knowledge-sharing and improving access to finance. The initiative will also seek to harmonize ongoing efforts by partner countries and organizations for effectively addressing the regions desertification challenges.

In the Sahel and the Horn of Africa, much of the land, consisting of desert and drylands, is estimated to be degraded. However, drylands are home to millions of people whose livelihoods are intertwined with the natural environment. In many countries, they are considered “bread baskets” because of their importance for production of major staple foods. But droughts have affected people’s livelihoods in the region in recent years, with the added impact of climate change making droughts more frequent and their effects more profound and severe.

Read the full article: GEF

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