2. Sustainable uses for steep slopes.
Workshop Proceedings "Sustainable Uses for Steep Slopes", Vol. II; DESFIL in coop. with USAID, USA; 1987, 47 pp. + annex
During the Inca period, the Andean highlands were home to 20 million persons, and sustained an efficient agriculture, evidently sufficient to support this population, indeed with excess production to trade with lower areas. The historical record left by these peoples attests that it is possible to practice efficient and sustainable agriculture in the region.
Therefore, a workshop for applied development practitioners, was held 1987. The workshop had two general purposes:
- To report experience in implementation and applied research on the development and the intensified but sustainable uses of fragile, steeply sloped areas; and
Presentations were made by persons and institutions that had attempted project implementation or had concluded applied research projects based on steep slopes, could document what happened, and could draw lessons learned, implications for policy, and recommendations for the design and management of future projects from these experiences.
The working groups emphasized sociocultural themes and community participation. Those present, most of whom were not social scientists, were overwhelmingly of the opinion that effective technical measures for degradation control - such as terraces, windbreaks, living barriers, diversion or infiltration ditches, mulching techniques, crop rotation, cross-slope farming, and so on - proved under on-farm conditions, existed.
Farmers, however, and many personnel in public sector institutions and donor agencies were unaware that degradation was a problem, did not immediately perceive or pay for its effects, and were thus reluctant to apply or continue to apply the efficacious, available control measures.
The sociocultural deficiencies that the working groups identified in development projects and programs in fragile areas are, in general, that local participation was not included in development efforts and that the talent, leadership, and traditions of the native communities and of the national-regional technicians community were not called upon. In addition, projects are usually designed to cover relatively short time spans, and so do not provide for postproject continuity of degradation-control programs.
In the design and management of natural resources projects, the working groups signaled a need for an interdisciplinary focus on the multiple phases and effects of the degradation problem.
Workshop participants noted the existence of certain problem-prone areas, such as páramos, dormant volcano craters, and very high cloud forests, which nevertheless offer development potential. The key to the development of these areas is multiple, non-intensive, non-agriculturally based uses (such as a combination of forestry, tourism, and public education programs, or the non-intensive exploitation of indigenous species). Basic data on the identification and sustainable uses of such zones are lacking.
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Erosion and desertification control
Africa, review, land restoration, revegetation, agro-silvicultural methods, shelterbelts, plantations, rangeland, forests, woodlands, case studies strategies, constraints, control measures, intervention methods, knowledge gaps
ELHOURI AHMED, A.
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