With 80 000 ha of forest cover cleared each year, including 30 000 ha to produce charcoal, Senegal has lost half of its forest in 20 years. Nowadays, its forest resource, which covers just 25% of the country, is continuing to shrink as a result of numerous factors, including a severe drought, which lasted for three decades up to the late 1990s. Is this catastrophic vision a consequence of climatic factors alone, of an uncontrollable increase in demand from urban areas, or of bad management at national level?
An analysis of the situation in the field tipped the balance in favour of the latter two options. This was shown by the results of a two-year research programme conducted by CIRAD, in partnership with the World Resource Institute (WRI) and the Council for the Development of Social Science Research in Africa (CODESRIA). In effect, the economic and political issues surrounding charcoal production often run counter to sustainable management measures.
The decentralization laws drawn up are generally sufficient to give local councils real decision-making and operating powers. However, it is clear that those powers are often still held higher up, giving central government and public services arbitrary responsibility for executing those laws. As a result, players outside local communities often have completely free access to and use of the available resources. They set up new authorities, often at village level, which tend to compete with rural councils, promoting confustion as to the distribution of responsibility. The context favours various forms of private management and the reaffirmation by State representatives of their role as guarantors of natural resources, while local people, who make a living from natural resources, are invited to participate in maintaining those resources to ensure sustainable management.
What can be done to ensure that power is really transferred to local communities? The programme recommended making changes along three lines: taxes, timber licences and management schemes. The recommendations question the legitimate authority of the State and the local councils' room for manoeuvre. Taxes need to be harmonized, established and monitored at both local and national level, so as not to favour one region over another and to prevent exhaustion of the resource. The situation concerning the laws governing timber cutting is confused to say the least: local councillors can sign felling authorizations, but it is actually forest service staff members who issue licences. Lastly, the forestry code imposes complex forest management systems, notably for charcoal production, while the decentralization code allows for simplified management schemes.
Helen Burford | alfa
Faba fix for corn's nitrogen need
11.04.2018 | American Society of Agronomy
Wheat research discovery yields genetic secrets that could shape future crops
09.04.2018 | John Innes Centre
At the Hannover Messe 2018, the Bundesanstalt für Materialforschung und-prüfung (BAM) will show how, in the future, astronauts could produce their own tools or spare parts in zero gravity using 3D printing. This will reduce, weight and transport costs for space missions. Visitors can experience the innovative additive manufacturing process live at the fair.
Powder-based additive manufacturing in zero gravity is the name of the project in which a component is produced by applying metallic powder layers and then...
Physicists at the Laboratory for Attosecond Physics, which is jointly run by Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität and the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics, have developed a high-power laser system that generates ultrashort pulses of light covering a large share of the mid-infrared spectrum. The researchers envisage a wide range of applications for the technology – in the early diagnosis of cancer, for instance.
Molecules are the building blocks of life. Like all other organisms, we are made of them. They control our biorhythm, and they can also reflect our state of...
University of Connecticut researchers have created a biodegradable composite made of silk fibers that can be used to repair broken load-bearing bones without the complications sometimes presented by other materials.
Repairing major load-bearing bones such as those in the leg can be a long and uncomfortable process.
Study published in the journal ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces is the outcome of an international effort that included teams from Dresden and Berlin in Germany, and the US.
Scientists at the Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) together with colleagues from the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) and the University of Virginia...
Novel highly efficient and brilliant gamma-ray source: Based on model calculations, physicists of the Max PIanck Institute for Nuclear Physics in Heidelberg propose a novel method for an efficient high-brilliance gamma-ray source. A giant collimated gamma-ray pulse is generated from the interaction of a dense ultra-relativistic electron beam with a thin solid conductor. Energetic gamma-rays are copiously produced as the electron beam splits into filaments while propagating across the conductor. The resulting gamma-ray energy and flux enable novel experiments in nuclear and fundamental physics.
The typical wavelength of light interacting with an object of the microcosm scales with the size of this object. For atoms, this ranges from visible light to...
13.04.2018 | Event News
12.04.2018 | Event News
09.04.2018 | Event News
24.04.2018 | Information Technology
24.04.2018 | Earth Sciences
24.04.2018 | Life Sciences