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Content archived on 2024-04-30

Degradation processes in open forest lands in Sub-Saharian Africa


The main objectives are as follows:
* Develop new remote sensing techniques for monitoring dryland degradation.
* Identify the causes of open forest degradation by empirical studies of agricultural and urban expansion that take an integrated approach to biophysical and socio-economic processes.
* Develop the theory of the causes of open forest degradation.
* Develop mathematical models to simulate spatial trends in open forest degradation.
* Clarify and model the influence of government policies and local and national institutions on the use of open forest lands.
* Synthesize project findings to define what is meant by "sustainable land management" and "sustainable forest management" in open forest lands subject to multiple uses, and develop the theory of the role of open forests in sustainable development.
* Suggest how governments could enhance their policies to make open forest land management and national development more sustainable, and how to use the mathematical models devised in the project as the basis for planning techniques to assist in this.
Expected Outcome

The project will extend our understanding of degradation processes in dry areas, and lead to better monitoring and modeling of desertification, improved models of global climate change and its terrestrial impacts, and better evaluation of biotic mitigation strategies, in which revegetation of degraded lands has an important role. A better understanding of degradation processes is essential so that development planners can understand the prerequisites for sustainable development. This project will make recommendations to the governments of Senegal, Tanzania and Uganda about policy changes which could make the management of their lands and forests, and their economy as a whole, more sustainable.
The key activities envisaged are:
* Degradation of open forests will be studied at the agriculture-forest and urban-forest interfaces in study areas in Senegal, Tanzania and Uganda that represent a diversity of open forest types and agricultural/urban situations.
* A new index of open forest degradation (including spatial degradation and biomass density degradation) will be devised to facilitate monitoring by remote sensing techniques, and tested by using high- and low-resolution satellite imagery to show trends in degradation.
* Field studies will be carried out in the study areas to: (a) identify and compare the underlying socio-economic causes of open forest degradation and the role of local and national political and institutional influences; and (b) estimate demand by multiple managers with conflicting objectives for multiple agricultural and forest-related uses.
* Using data collected in the field studies, an economic optimization model will be built to allocate land to multiple uses and then predict likely trends in degradation.
* The model will be tested by using GIS techniques to compare actual trends in degradation in the study areas with those predicted by the model.
* Differences between actual and predicted trends will be explained by a political economy model, derived from the field studies of local and national management institutions.
* A new framework to analyze the role of open forests in national sustainable development will also be devised.

Call for proposal

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EU contribution
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Woodhouse Lane
United Kingdom

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Total cost
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Participants (6)