Local Economy against Poverty

11/05/2018 inAgrisud’s, Event, Illustrate
CARI 20 years: the “territory” approach for a fair and sustainable land management
Photo: © Etienne Ramouss Images

On October 16th, the Action and International Realizations Center (CARI) organized a debate at AFD’s premises on the occasion of its 20-year fight against desertification and land degradation. Sylvain Berton, Agrisud’s operations Director and CARI’s administrator, talked about the “territory” approach complexity in desertification contexts.

Agroecological transition and fight against desertification

Ranging from family farm to territory, different scales must be considered in order to create a suitable environment for agroecological transition which represents a solution against desertification.

The 3 scales:

infographic 3 scales to create agroecological transition of family farms

Pictogrammes : Created by Made from the Noun Project

  • The plot / the area where agroecological practices will be applied in crop-livestock systems
  • The farm where different crop-livestock systems meet
  • The territory where implementation conditions for agroecological transitions and sustainable land management are created

These 3 scales are interdependent. When disconnected or under problematic factors that cannot be overcome, the desertification processes start.

Complexity of desertification processes and Complexity of territorial approaches

complexité de l'approche territoire dans les contextes de désertification par Sylvain BertonDesertification processes are complex and have an impact at 3 levels: agri-environmental (degradation of lands, water and biodiversity…), economic (sustainability of local activities…) and social (food insecurity, conflicts over resources access, migration …).

This complexity is also found in territories through their action plans to fight against desertification: issues and stakeholders multiplicity, sometimes unstable geopolitical contexts.

Therefore, the “territory” approach is multisectoral, inclusive and depend on local policies.

complexité des processus de désertification et complexité des approches territoiresTo address this complexity, in-depth contextualization work is required and goes through 4 phases that involve stakeholders:

  • Participatory territorial diagnosis
  • Development planning
  • Implementation of action plans
  • Assessment and Report to local stakeholders


The “territory” approach: global setting and local actions

The “territory” approach is built on national and regional strategies, which are then broken down into priority action plans at a local level. The good knowledge of their territory and their population, thus gives communities a key role in the implementation of action plans.

The “Territory” approach is complex and does not end with land restoration.
It requires proper contextualization and proper identification of interconnections inside and outside the territory.

intervenants à la rencontre débat lors des 20 ans du CARI de lutte contre la désertification à l'afd

Five speakers in the debate “What role of civil society and what role of the authorities in Southern courntries? “

20 ans cari lutte contre la désertification afd

The CARI team and debate attendees including many partners such as Agrisud.

Learn more about CARI’s Form’Actions tool