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:
- 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
Desertification 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.
- 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.