* To study the interaction between migration and changing land & water management with resource exploitation in the oases of the Maghreb.
* To examine the ecological impact of the changes in land & water management and resource exploitation, especially their contribution to desertification processes.
* To design a model for increased investments and improved spin-off of allocation of remittances in sustainable agriculture.
By identifying the main obstacles for investments in agricultural development and for sustainable land & water management, this interdisciplinary project should be able to identify the enabling conditions for successful promotion of a sustainable agricultural development of the region as well as for the struggle against desertification, which also contributes to the reduction of out-migration.
The project concerns a comparative and interdisciplinary research in four oases in Southern Morocco and Tunisia. It will study the differentiated impact of migration and concomitant socio-economic changes on land & water management and resource exploitation in dryland oases and, consequently, its ecological consequences.
The five work packages are:
* Quantitative socio-economic survey on household level, focusing on demographic structure of the household, migration characteristics, activity patterns, income characteristics and investment patterns, as well as the agricultural exploitation. The impact of migration on decision-making related to resource exploitation among non-migrant groups will be equally studied.
* Integrated socio-economic interviews with peasants on plot level, focusing on actual land use, irrigation patterns, and land & water conservation measures. In particular on this level the interdisciplinary nature of the research will be realised, by explicitly studying the interaction between socio-economic characteristics and land and water use patterns.
* General ecological evaluation of the bio-physical environment, comprising climate assessment, assessment of water resources (water quality and quantity), and soil degradation / desertification assessment, through the mapping of land properties (soil, vegetation and land use). The study will apply and develop models of soil degradation (mainly physical and biological degradation, salinization, and wind and water erosion) adapted to oasis environments.
* Survey on oasis level of the agricultural and hydrological system. This general survey focuses on the collective aspects of land & water management on oasis level, especially concerning the irrigation system and collective soil and water conservation practices.
* Theoretical modelling. Based on models developed from the scientific literature, previous research experiences, and the research results, data from all the following work packages will be integrated and hypotheses tested, in order to identify the enabling conditions for sustainable agricultural development in oases.
Funding SchemeCSC - Cost-sharing contracts