The combat against desertification is a cross cutting axis in the development of arid areas, a way of fighting poverty by addressing soil degradation in places where some of the planet's most vulnerable people live. Our work of support, exchange and capitalization of experiences, is done with this in mind, so that the actions on the ground in the South are implemented more effectively.
The framework of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification also makes it possible to have political action committed to the combat against this phenomenon, while promoting coherent actions between the different types of actor, to bring collectively built solutions where land degradation prevails.
CARI and its networks thus aim to inform the actors of the environmental strategies and policies, to facilitate dialogue and to elaborate positions intended for the decision makers.
The Sahel is one of the areas most severely affected by land degradation and has many environmental (aridity, drought...) and socio-political (demographic pressure) constraints.
Consequently, it is necessary:
It was for this purpose that the Sahel Desertification network (ReSaD) was created in 2010, from a partnership between CARI, French organisations grouped within the Desertification Work Group (GTD), and the Sahalian platforms of Niger, Mali and Burkina Faso. As coordinator of this network, CARI is particularly involved in the Sahel that it considers as a priority area in regards to the observed issues.
In this so-called "water-scarce" region with a high population growth, natural resource management and economic dynamism are closely linked. Population growth, industrial development and tourism have led to significant changes in natural resource requirements, which are becoming increasingly difficult to cover.
Many Maghreb countries have already exhausted their potential for mobilising new natural resources, particularly in the water sector. While national farming meets only half of the food needs of the population, thus increasing the dependence on imports and foreign markets, the food situation of the populations has deteriorated, highlighting the agricultural problems in this region.
A strong population growth is expected (With a strong increase in population projected), the challenge for the Maghreb is to face its boosting needs (produce in sufficient quantity) while preserving the land’s increasingly scarce resources.
Because of this, in an area that consists of 70% arid zones, CARI has decided to on the territories which constitute a part of the solution: the oases. These ecosystems enable natural resources to be managed effectively, while ensuring substantial agricultural production in environments that are more and more impacted by climate change.