Do you know UNEP ?

 What UNEP Does

“The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) is the voice for the environment in the United Nations system. It is an advocate, educator, catalyst and facilitator, promoting the wise use of the planet’s natural assets for sustainable development. UNEP’s mission is “to provide leadership and encourage partnership in caring for the environment by inspiring, informing, and enabling nations and peoples to improve their quality of life without compromising that of future generations.”

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Water scarcity – 2007 Theme (UNEP)

 Read at the UNEP website 

Message by UNEP Executive Director for World Water Day

2007 Theme – Water Scarcity
“22 March – Water scarcity is both a natural and a human-made phenomenon. There is enough freshwater on the planet for six billion people but it is shared unevenly and too much of it is wasted, polluted and unsustainably managed.

The reality of climate change compels the world to pay even greater attention to water scarcity given the predicted variability and more extreme weather events likely over the coming years and decades.

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Japanese grant for Sudan, Palestine and Mozambique

Read at the Development Gateway

Grant Assistance for Underprivileged Farmers in Sudan, Palestine, and Mozambique through the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO)

“March 19, 2007

1. The Government of Japan has decided to extend Grant Assistance for Underprivileged farmers amounting to 414 million yen through the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), for the following three projects. Notes to this effect were exchanged on March 19 (Mon) (Japan and local time) in Rome between Mr. Yuji Nakamura, Japanese Ambassador to Italy, and Mr. David Harcharik, Deputy Director-General, FAO.

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What is UNCCD ?

The Convention

You will find full information on this United Nations Convention to combat desertification at the website 

Double click UNCCD under Blogroll in the right column of this blog.

“The international community has long recognized that desertification is a major economic, social and environmental problem of concern to many countries in all regions of the world. In 1977, the United Nations Conference on Desertification (UNCOD) adopted a Plan of Action to Combat Desertification (PACD). Unfortunately, despite this and other efforts, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) concluded in 1991 that the problem of land degradation in arid, semi-arid and dry sub-humid areas had intensified, although there were “local examples of success”.

As a result, the question of how to tackle desertification was still a major concern for the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED), which was held in Rio de Janeiro in 1992. The Conference supported a new, integrated approach to the problem, emphasizing action to promote sustainable development at the community level. It also called on the United Nations General Assembly to establish an Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee (INCD) to prepare, by June 1994, a Convention to Combat Desertification, particularly in Africa. In December 1992, the General Assembly agreed and adopted resolution 47/188.

UNCED Working to a tight schedule, the Committee completed its negotiations in five sessions. The Convention was adopted in Paris on 17 June 1994 and opened for signature there on 14-15 October 1994. It entered into force on 26 December 1996, 90 days after the fiftieth ratification was received. Over 179 countries were Parties as at March 2002. The Conference of the Parties (COP), which is the Convention’s supreme governing body, held its first session in October 1997 in Rome, Italy; the second in December 1998 in Dakar, Senegal; the third in November 1999 in Recife, Brazil; the fourth in December 2000 in Bonn, Germany; and the fifth in October 2001 in Geneva, Switzerland. As of 2001, COP sessions will be held on a biennial basis.

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Fiche Technique d’Horticulture No. 11 – Poireau

 Fiche produite par Mr. Bernard PERRAUT, technicien agronome de SOS Village d’Enfants à Draria-Alger (Algèrie).

Le poireau (Allium porrum L.) fait partie des Liliacées.
Faculté germinative : 2 ans. Levée 10 à 15 jours.
Comme toutes les plantes bisannuelles, elle monte à fleur et à graine la deuxième année.
Le poireau apprécie les terres profondes, fortes et riches, et les argiles fortes.
Apports : 3 kg de compost par mètre carré, mélangé au sol en automne.
Tout excès d’azote déclenche des attaques de parasites.
De février à mars pour le poireau d’été. En pépinière à 1 cm de profondeur. 4 grammes de semences fournissent environ 800 à 1000 plants.
A partir de mai : arracher les plants quand ils ont le diamètre d’un crayon. Couper l’extrémité des feuilles et des racines de sorte que la racine mesure 2 cm et le corps du poireau 15 cm environ.
Espacement de 10 cm sur la ligne et 30 cm sur le rang. Couvrir le sol avec du compost ou du fumier sec.
Couvrir, biner, arroser. Arroser également avec du purin d’ortie dilué. La sécheresse favorise l’attaque du ver du poireau; donc, maintenir au frais par un couvert de fumier sec et l’arrosage.
On distingue 4 groupes de variétés : poireau d’été, poireau d’automne, poireau d’hiver et poireau baguette. Le poireau d’été, plus précoce est le mieux adapté dans nos régions.
Les poireaux sont récoltés au fur et à mesure des besoins. Ils se conservent en terre. Le poireau ne craint pas les éventuelles gelées d’hiver.
Alterner 2 lignes de poireaux et 2 lignes de carottes, les uns et les autres s’améliorent en en se débarrassant de leurs vers respectifs.
Asperge, Betterave rouge, Céleri, Carottes, Cresson, Epinard, Fenouil, Laitue, Oignon, Radis, Tomate.

Rural finance and rural poverty (IFAD)

Read at the Rural poverty portal

Rural finance and rural poverty

More than a billion poor people lack access to the basic financial services which are essential for them to manage their precarious lives.

“Good management of even the smallest assets can be crucial to very poor people, who live in precarious conditions, threatened by lack of income, shelter and food. To overcome poverty, they need to be able to borrow, save and invest, and to protect their families against risk. But with little income or collateral, poor people are seldom able to obtain loans from banks and other formal financial institutions. And even when they do have income or collateral, the amounts they require are often too small to appeal to banks.

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Rural poverty and desertification (IFAD)

Rural poverty and desertification

Read at the Rural poverty portal



“When fragile land in arid regions is overexploited by the demands of an expanding population, it loses its productive capacity. The results are devastating. Land degradation affects more than 1 billion people and 40 per cent of the earth’s surface. In the severest cases the land becomes infertile and useless, precipitating famine and drought. Every year 12 million ha of land are lost to desertification, and the rate is increasing. Desertification is a major environmental problem that is advancing at an alarming pace.

Arid and semi-arid areas cover roughly one third of the earth’s surface. These dryland regions, which may or may not border on deserts, receive little or no rainfall. Their ecosystems are fragile and are easily stressed beyond their already limited capacity. In the past such regions were home to small groups of herders and small-scale farmers. The land was grazed intermittently and was left to lie fallow at intervals. Now dryland areas are increasingly subject to the pressures of a growing human population.

The causes of desertification are many and complex, but it is essentially inappropriate and excessive human activity that initiates the process. Competition for land and limited resources lead to unsustainable land management practices. In some cases migration as a result of conflict puts undue pressure on fragile areas. In other cases it is mining that causes the initial damage.

Continue reading “Rural poverty and desertification (IFAD)”

Water to combat rural poverty

Water to combat rural poverty

Read at the Rural poverty portal 


“Water is central to meeting all but foremost the first Millennium Development Goal (MDG) target of reducing by half the proportion of people living in extreme poverty and hunger by the year 2015. Global attention is mostly focused on the MDG regarding safe drinking water and sanitation. Given that approximately 70 per cent of the world’s mobilized water resources are used for agriculture, and that about half the world’s population will be suffering water scarcity by 2025, it is surprising that the international community has hitherto spent relatively little time or energy on these issues.

Attaining other MDGs improves the prospects of success in water. However, MDGs are a set of outcomes that do not represent all processes of development. There are, for example, no MDGs for peace and security, economic growth or governance. Yet these and other factors bear significantly upon prospects of success in water.

This complexity means that water is not always the main point of entry into development.

Poor rural people face an intricate web of deprivations. Improvements to lives and livelihoods will place water resources under increasing, and in some cases, unsustainable pressure. These twin challenges set the scene for the need to look at water in all of its contributions to development – in health, in food, in livelihoods, in energy and industry – through development that does not jeopardise the integrity of the environment, both in developing and developed countries.”

Do you know IFAD ?

“The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), a specialized agency of the United Nations, was established as an international financial institution in 1977 as one of the major outcomes of the 1974 World Food Conference. The Conference was organized in response to the food crises of the early 1970s that primarily affected the Sahelian countries of Africa. The conference resolved that “an International Fund for Agricultural Development should be established immediately to finance agricultural development projects primarily for food production in the developing countries”. One of the most important insights emerging from the conference was that the causes of food insecurity and famine were not so much failures in food production, but structural problems relating to poverty and to the fact that the majority of the developing world’s poor populations were concentrated in rural areas.

IFAD’s mission is to enable the rural poor to overcome poverty.

IFAD is dedicated to eradicating rural poverty in developing countries. Seventy-five per cent of the world’s poorest people – 800 million women, children and men – live in rural areas and depend on agriculture and related activities for their livelihoods.

Working with rural poor people, governments, donors, non-governmental organizations and many other partners, IFAD focuses on country-specific solutions, which can involve increasing rural poor peoples’ access to financial services, markets, technology, land and other natural resources.”

If you want to know more about IFAD, please go to 

You can also click at the link you find under BLOGROLL (right column of my blog)

rural poverty portal 

Info on desertification ?

Are you looking for information on desertification and related topics ? Have a look at :

External links and references


This article incorporates text from, a public domain work of the United States Government.

Irrigation – Agriculture – Burkina Faso

Burkina Faso’s far-sighted irrigation policy making a difference for agriculture

on “African Agriculture” website

“An impressive crop of sweet potatoes, yams, cabbages, cucumbers, carrots and tomatoes has spelt a good season for Burkinabé farmer Amadou Diallo, who attributes his success to a nearby water storage tank.

“Thanks to the proximity of this water point, we have a turnover of five to six million CFA francs per year (10,000 to 12,000 dollars),” says Diallo, who farms a six hectare plot in Dori, in the north of the country, together with other producers. “But we could have produced much more if we had several water tanks, since we have land available.”

Over recent years, setting up irrigation systems at village level has been policy in Burkina Faso, thanks to the 1998 creation of a directorate in the agriculture ministry tasked with small-scale irrigation. The directorate provides small farmers with subsidised supplies and helps them set up water storage tanks, enabling many to have two harvests annually, even though Burkina Faso only has one rainy season.

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Wastewater irrigation empowers Kenya’s urban farmers

Wastewater irrigation empowers Kenya’s urban farmers

Found at the website of “African Agriculture” 


Mary, Florence and other farmers in Maili Saba and Kibera use untreated sewage water to irrigate their vegetable crops, a practice they continue without the use of protective clothing. In this way they are able to maintain production throughout the year, except when there is a shortage of water in Nairobi and the middle income households do not flush their toilets or throw away waste water.

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