UN and agriculture in Sudan

Photo credit: Google

Agriculutre in Sudan

Agriculture Minister Reviews Ways to Cooperate with UN in Agriculture

The Minister of Agriculture and Irrigation Eng. Ibrahim Mahmud Hamid has reviewed ways of bolstering joint cooperation in the field of agriculture and sustainable development with the United Nations (UN).

Eng. Ibrahim Mahmud Hamid - http://news.sudanvisiondaily.com/media/images/29d17922-e485-1bb3.jpg
Eng. Ibrahim Mahmud Hamid – http://news.sudanvisiondaily.com/media/images/29d17922-e485-1bb3.jpg

This came when he met Tuesday at his office with the Chairman of the United Nations’ Socio-economic Affairs Sami Erekat. The meeting discussed ways of developing agricultural activities, sustainable development, water management and combating desertification. The meeting touched on ways of developing integrated plan for making Sudan to be a leading and pioneer state in realising the Millennium Development Goals as well as training and capacity building.

The Minister of Agriculture underlined that the state general policy targeted development of agricultural operations, achievement of food security and improvement of standard of living of the population by using technological packages to increase production and productivity.

Erekat said that it was highly important to work for the success of the Millennium Development Goals, to achieve sustainable development for all through creation of strategies for benefiting of the resources and to work for capacity building on water and drought management.

Read the full article: Sudan Vision

DesertNet International e-Forum (DNI)

Desertif’Action 2015 launched an e-forum dedicated to discussions on issues of land degradation and climate change. The objective of the e-forum is to generate shared views between international development stakeholders: NGO, local and institutional communities and allows southern partners who cannot travel to Montpellier in June to give their opinion.

The e-Forum is accessible, from 7 to 30 April 2015, in English, French and Spanish at http://www.desertif-actions.fr/forum/index.php


Désertif’actions 2015 a lancé son e-Forum dédié aux discussions concernant les questions de dégradation des terres et de changement climatique. L’objectif de l’e-forum est de produire des éléments partagés entre les acteurs du développement international : ONG, collectivités locales et institutionnels. Il permet entre autre aux partenaires du sud ne pouvant se déplacer en juin à Montpellier de faire entendre leur voix.

Le e-Forum est accessible, du 7 au 30 Avril 2015, en Anglais, Français et Espagnol à l’adresse : http://www.desertif-actions.fr/forum/index.php




The DNI Bureau

Environmental impacts of Ethiopian dam ignored

Photo credit: SciDevNet

Copyright: D.J. Clark/Panos

Ethiopian dam deal ignores science, warn experts

Speed read

  • Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan have agreed to regulate Nile water use
  • But the deal has been dismissed as a science-free ‘political agreement’
  • There is concern that the dam’s environmental impacts are being ignored

[CAIRO] Water scientists from Egypt have raised concerns over a declaration governing the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam that is meant to ensure fair access to Nile water for countries downstream.

The Declaration of principles, which the leaders of Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan signed in Khartoum, Sudan, on 23 March, is meant to regulate Nile water use following political upheaval over the dam, which is about a third into its construction.

Talking to SciDev.Net, scientists monitoring the declaration’s creation have warned that concerns over the dam’s impact on the environment and local people have been sidelined for gains in political negotiations.

Nader Noureddine, a water resources and soil researcher at Cairo University, says the technical committee appointed by all three countries to oversee the dam’s construction will be allowed to study documents provided by the Ethiopian government, but “will not be allowed to visit the dam or to witness the work on the site”. This, Noureddine says, will seriously impact its ability to make an evidence-based assessment of the dam’s environmental impacts.

Read the full article: SciDevNet

Desertification in Haiti

Photo credit: Google

“You should have seen the top of these mountains 4 years ago. There were no trees, only few unwanted grasses. Now we can begin to see many changes in the landscape and the texture of the soil is less rocky. All of this because of HTRIP that helps us to produce more than 7,000 seedlings every year in our community tree nursery. HTRIP makes us believe in soil conservation and tree planting as the solution to many of our ecological problems”

— Charles Watson, HTRIP Leader in Drice, Verettes District

A Case Study of the Desertification of Haiti

by Johnson Williams

in Journal of Sustainable Development   ISSN 1913-9063 (Print)   ISSN 1913-9071 (Online)



One of the largest Caribbean nations, Haiti has 27,720 Square kilometers of land. Less that 20% of the land under cultivation is appropriate for agriculture. Once covered by forest, this country has been heavily logged and now mostly deforested. The majority of the arable land is being farmed beyond their carrying capacity. The total area under agriculture production is 6 times greater than the estimated areas suitable for agriculture resulting in significant deterioration of the land. Although the national governments as well as other governments have made several attempts to combat desertification, few initiatives have been successful.
This research will: (1) review desertification, (2) assess the current state of desertification in Haiti and on the island of Hispaniola, (3) review the impact of internal and external programs designed to reverse the effects of desertification, (4) compare the indicators of desertification that exist on the island of Hispaniola, and (5) discuss the consequences of desertification for Haiti as well as proactive strategies for reversing the negative effects.
References on Desertification
Ahmad, Y.J. and M. Kassas. (1987). Desertification: Financial Support for the Biosphere. West Hartford, Conn.: Kumarian Press.
Conway, Dr. J. Jickling, J. Haiti Agroforestry Outreach Project Extension, (1987-90). Pan American Development Foundation.
Desertification Tables and Charts for Haiti. Retrieved from http://rainforest.mongabay.com/deforestation/Haiti.html Executive Summary Third National Report of the Republic of Haiti (2006), Retrieved from http://www.unccd.int/cop/reports/lac/national/2006/haiti-summary-eng.pdf
Reining, P. (1978). Handbook on Desertification Indicators. Washington, D.C.: American Association for the Advancement of Science.
J.F. Reynolds and D.M. Stafford Smith. (2004). “Global Desertification’s, Do Humans cause Deserts?”, Environmental Science and Policy, Volume 7, Issue 2, April 2004, pp.118-199.
UNEP (United Nations Environment Programme). (1984). General Assessment of Progress in the Implementation of the Plan of Action to Combat Desertification, 1978-1984. GC-12/9.


Read the full article:


A tool to combat desertification and hunger, spineless Opuntia

 Photo credit: World Organic News

Photo credit: IFAD

Opuntia spp: an efficient tool to combat desertification


Reasons for the increased importance of cacti in arid zones

Spineless prickly pear (Opuntia) in plantation - https://desertification.files.wordpress.com/2015/01/opuntia-biogas-elquiglobalenergy-p9270040-copy.jpg?w=660&h=408
Spineless prickly pear (Opuntia) in plantation – https://desertification.files.wordpress.com/2015/01/opuntia-biogas-elquiglobalenergy-p9270040-copy.jpg?w=660&h=408

The increased importance of cacti, such as Opuntia species, in arid zones is because of their ability to

  • (i) grow in “deserts” and their drought tolerance;
  • (ii) produce forage, fruit, and other useful products; and
  • (iii) mitigate long-term degradation of ecologically fragile environments.

Read the full article: World Organic News


REMARK OF mrjonmoore

Useful but can become invasive!!! Beware! mrjonmoore)


COMMENT OF PROF.DR. WILLEM VAN COTTHEM (University of Ghent, Belgium)

What could ever be the harm of a spineless cactus like Opuntia ficus-indica var. inermis, cultivated over thousands of hectares in Middle and South America for the production of food (nopales), fodder and biofuel ?

Let the spineless Opuntia be invasive and get more food and fodder for free.  Beware of the negative critics and accept the benefits of large-scale plantations for combating desertification, for limiting erosion, for enhancing food and fodder security.  Facts can’t be denied.


Climate change and desertification

Photo credit: 2 Celsius

Northern Ghana, desertification. Photo: Elena Craescu

Climate Change Furthers Desertification in Northern Africa’s Golden Coast

by Francis Npong, Ghana

The kind of ecological calamity that sent Ethiopia and Sunden’s Darfur from relative food sovereignty to food scarcity is here with us in Ghana, as Sahara Desert has continued to turn the Northern part of Ghana into wasteland and marches violently and unstoppably southwards.

According to environmental expert Thomas Ayamga, about 35% of the total land mass of the country has already been turned into semi desert and that climate change has advanced desert in an already fragile regions, the Upper East, Upper West and Northern Regions, which together constitute about 40% of the total land mass of the country. Mr. Ayamaga who spoke to said in an interview recently said this part of the country also has the highest temperatures ranges from 20 degrees Celsius to 41 degrees Celsius with unpredicted rain patterns.

Already an estimated 8.2 million hectares of the closed forest of the country have been depleted as a result of farming; logging and sand wining leaving a current level estimated at 1.9 to 2.0 million hectares of wood logs, he said. He said the impact of climate change has furthered desertification in the region and that if the situation is reverse the temperature in the region might become warmer that could trigger climate related illnesses such Cibro Spinal Manigitis (CMS) and malaria infections. “Climate change has made farming unattractive and rainfall erratic.

The only most immediate solution for agriculture at this moment is intensive irrigation”, he suggested.

Read the full article: 2 Celsius


New Paradigms in Dryland Landscapes


Jornada to publish special issue on desertification in dryland landscapes

by Debra Peters (JRN)

in Network News Winter 2014, Vol. 27 No. 4

The Jornada Basin (JRN) Long Term Ecological Research (LTER) program, in collaboration with the Jornada US Department of Agriculture‘s Agricultural Research Service will publish a special issue, “Beyond Desertification: New Paradigms in Dryland Landscapes”, in the February 2015 issue of the journal Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment.

Desertification, the persistent and severe broad-scale reduction in biological productivity through the conversion of perennial grasslands to dominance by woody plants or bare ground, has traditionally been the dominant dynamic of interest in arid and semiarid ecosystems globally. Drought and overgrazing are often contributing factors to this conversion, yet the proposed explanations for any particular location are numerous and often controversial. Long-term research at the Jornada USDA-LTER site in southern New Mexico since 1912 has documented these dramatic changes in vegetation structure and ecosystem processes. However, research over the past decade is generating new perspectives on desertification, and is providing new insights into the dynamics of these systems within the context of global change. If we have learned anything from over a century of ecological research in dryland environments, then it is that location and context matter. New perspectives are explicitly accounting for the ecological implications of location, how the past informs the present, and how the geographical interrelationships change through time and drive further change.

Papers in the special issue illustrate how an understanding of these dynamics is generating better ecological understanding of how and where state and regime changes occur within the context of land use against a backdrop of climate change, and are modified by landform and prevailing conditions. New paradigms are emerging in six areas (legacies, spatial connections, land use context, ecological literacy, ecosystem services, new technologies) that, when integrated into a new framework, provide a more robust approach for understanding, managing, and predicting dryland dynamics. Although these paradigms are described in the special issue for arid and semiarid landscapes, they are also relevant in other ecosystems.

Read the full article: LTER Network News