|In order to enhance and restore the ecosystems of natural capital in African arid regions, the Global Dryland Ecosystem Programme (G-DEP) consultative meeting was hosted in Dakar, Senegal, from 23 to 25 September 2019. This paper details the first African meeting of the G-DEP. Consultative meeting reviewed preceding dryland ecosystems case studies, identified vulnerable arid and semi-arid regions, and proposed sustainable solutions to problems. It also identified the successes and failures of previous attempts to improve vulnerable ecosystems and ultimately formed an action plan to improve these attempts. Climate, ecosystems, and livelihoods for Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), Great Green Wall Initiative (GGWI) for Sahara and Sahel, and China-Africa cooperation on science, technology, and innovation are three extra main sections concerned of the meeting. Separately, more specific topics as the complicated relationship between these natural processes and human activity, including pastoralism, soil restoration, and vegetation regenerate techniques, were fully discussed. Consultative meeting also identified the positive effects international collaboration can have on dryland regions, specifically in the capacity of sharing information, technology, and innovation on purpose to develop a joint proposal for long-term research programs in African arid and semi-arid areas. Moreover, meetings that review the progress made on ecosystem management for the sustainable livelihoods in Africa, identification of priority areas, and the development and implementation of ecosystem programs for proper research and collaboration in African arid and semi-arid zones, have been proposed as strategic recommendations to enhance the global partnership for sustainable development. Furthermore, as the outcomes of the workshop, there are three steps proposed to handle African dryland climate changes, several aspects suggested to solve current dilemmas of the GGWI, and a series of actions recommended for G-DEP related activities in Africa.|
Since 1960, the steppe regions of North Africa have been subject to an increasing desertification, including the degradation of traditional pastures. The initially dominant species (Artemisia herba-alba, Lygeum spartum and Stipa tenacissima) declined and were progressively replaced by other species (Atractylis serratuloides and Salsola vermiculata) that are more tolerant to the new conditions. It is not clear whether these changes are due to anthropogenic reasons or climatic determinism. We have carried out a statistical analysis of the climate to detect putative rainfall changes during the 20th century in the Algerian steppes based on data from 9 meteorological stations, including 2 Saharan stations (El Oued and Touggourt), 3 pre-Saharan stations (Biskra, Laghouat and Ain Sefra) and 4 steppe stations (Djelfa, Saida, Méchéria and El-Bayadh) located in the arid high plains, which represent the bioclimate diversities of the region. Previous studies suggested that significant rainfall changes for the 20th century only had records in the south of the Oran region. Most of the studies, however, looked at restricted territories over limited periods, and did not integrate the rainiest period 2004–2014. Our work is designed to integrate all the longest time series of meteorological data available for the steppe regions of Algeria. Our results confirm the spatial rainfall distribution (significant rainfall changes only recorded in the southwestern region) evidenced by previous studies, and reveal a decreasing rainfall gradient from northeastern to southwestern Algeria. Moreover, the results reveal a trend of significant decrease of rainfall in the southern Oran region, marked by two drought periods in 1980–1985 and 1999–2003. However, with the exception of the southwestern region, rainfall overall has not declined since the beginning of the 20th century. While less marked in other regions, the drought appear to have affected all territories of the Algerian steppe. Consequently, our study implies that the climate was not a leading influence in the on-going degradation of the vegetation cover of steppe landscapes. Such a vegetation evolution thus appears to be have been determined more by human activities than by climate forcing.
|The causes of land degradation in the African drylands have been shown to vary. Some researchers consider climate to be the major contributor to degradation, with anthropogenic factors playing a minor role. Others reverse the significance of these two factors. A third group attributes land degradation to climate and anthropogenic factors equally. This study was undertaken to establish the factors influencing land degradation in a semi-arid environment in southeastern Kenya and the rate of change in vegetation types for a period of 35 years (1973–2007). The reduction in grassland cover was used as an indicator of land degradation. Causes of land degradation were determined by a multiple regression analysis. A log-linear regression analysis was used to establish the rate of vegetation change. The multiple and log-linear regression analyses showed: (1) woody vegetation, livestock population and cultivated area to be the main contributors of reduction in grassland cover in the area, and (2) an increase in undesirable woody species, livestock population and cultivated area had a significant (P<0.05) negative effect on grassland vegetation. Increased human population, low amounts of rainfall and drought showed no significant negative effect on grassland vegetation cover. In conclusion, human and livestock population growth and increased agricultural land have contributed to intensive crop cultivation and overgrazing in the semi-arid lands. This overuse of the semi-arid rangelands has worsened the deterioration of the natural grassland vegetation.|