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close this bookThe Improvement of Tropical and Subtropical Rangelands (BOSTID)
close this folderPart II
close this folderThe potential of faidherbia albida for desertification control and increased productivity in Chad
View the document(introduction...)
View the documentBackground
View the documentCharacteristics of faidherbia albida
View the documentProject description
View the documentProject analysis and evaluation
View the documentConclusions
View the documentReferences


The desertification process is a complex web of environmental disturbances, and its control is confounded by a labyrinth of social and ecological complications. "Modernization" has reached a stage in the Sahel such that a return to traditional ways would not be possible, even if desirable, as a means to check the "desert creep." It is in the interest of the developed world to work with the affected countries to find an ecologically sound and socially acceptable solution to the degradation problem. The ecological understanding necessary to apply conservative land management is available, but because of social and cultural differences the framework within which it may be properly applied has not yet been developed.

A suitable framework for development and conservation of the Sahelian ecosystem must involve a unified effort on the part of all sectors of agricultural and livestock production to ensure proper use of the land's resources. Development efforts in the Sahel, however, do not have a history of such cooperation; coordination of efforts will come only with coordination of interests. The unique multipleuse characteristics of Faidherbia albida, built into a rural development project, could be a device to focus related interests and forge cooperation between development efforts that have obvious ecological connections. This facilitation may ultimately be more helpful to the recipient country than the direct benefit of Faidherbia albida plantations to the agricultural and forage resources of the land.