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
Trees and climate change: Faster growth, lighter wood
14.08.2018 | Technische Universität München
Animals and fungi enhance the performance of forests
01.08.2018 | Deutsches Zentrum für integrative Biodiversitätsforschung (iDiv) Halle-Jena-Leipzig
Scientists at the University of California, Los Angeles present new research on a curious cosmic phenomenon known as "whistlers" -- very low frequency packets...
Scientists develop first tool to use machine learning methods to compute flow around interactively designable 3D objects. Tool will be presented at this year’s prestigious SIGGRAPH conference.
When engineers or designers want to test the aerodynamic properties of the newly designed shape of a car, airplane, or other object, they would normally model...
Researchers from TU Graz and their industry partners have unveiled a world first: the prototype of a robot-controlled, high-speed combined charging system (CCS) for electric vehicles that enables series charging of cars in various parking positions.
Global demand for electric vehicles is forecast to rise sharply: by 2025, the number of new vehicle registrations is expected to reach 25 million per year....
Proteins must be folded correctly to fulfill their molecular functions in cells. Molecular assistants called chaperones help proteins exploit their inbuilt folding potential and reach the correct three-dimensional structure. Researchers at the Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry (MPIB) have demonstrated that actin, the most abundant protein in higher developed cells, does not have the inbuilt potential to fold and instead requires special assistance to fold into its active state. The chaperone TRiC uses a previously undescribed mechanism to perform actin folding. The study was recently published in the journal Cell.
Actin is the most abundant protein in highly developed cells and has diverse functions in processes like cell stabilization, cell division and muscle...
Scientists have discovered that the electrical resistance of a copper-oxide compound depends on the magnetic field in a very unusual way -- a finding that could help direct the search for materials that can perfectly conduct electricity at room temperatur
What happens when really powerful magnets--capable of producing magnetic fields nearly two million times stronger than Earth's--are applied to materials that...
08.08.2018 | Event News
27.07.2018 | Event News
25.07.2018 | Event News
16.08.2018 | Life Sciences
16.08.2018 | Earth Sciences
16.08.2018 | Life Sciences