The conservation and rehabilitation of African lands

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African nations face many problems. In the long term, perhaps the most serious is that of land degradation. The African economy depends on the continent's forests, pastures and croplands; all are now threatened with degradation. The importance of this issue was highlighted in the 1986 FAO study African Agriculture: the next 25 years. One of the major recommendations of this study was that a conservation strategy should be developed for the continent. With the assistance of African experts, FAO has followed up this recommendation. The result is the International Scheme outlined in this publication. Land cannot be reclaimed or conserved through sporadic efforts or short-term projects; what are needed are long-term programmes, backed by sound land-use policies, and strategies to catalyse their development. To succeed, these programmes must be founded on the concept of participation; ultimately, African land can be conserved and rehabilitated only by those who make their living from it. The purpose of the International Scheme for the Conservation and Rehabilitation of African Lands is to provide a means by which African countries can develop their own programmes to fight land degradation. The Scheme is specifically designed to enable countries to tailor these programmes to meet their individual needs. Currently, African nations face severe financial constraints and lack enough trained workers and inputs to undertake programmes of the scale required. Fortunately, technical assistance and financing agencies are keen to help—providing they can do so within programmes likely to enjoy long-term success. This Scheme therefore includes a mechanism which enables African governments and these organizations to work in partnership. I commend this Scheme to governments, international agencies and non-governmental organizations. For its part, FAO intends to support and coordinate the Scheme with the vigour and enthusiasm that it merits.
Available in print form, East Africana Collection, Dr. Wilbert Chagula Library, (EAF FOS F21.C6)
Conservation, Rehabilitation, Lands
Fosbrooke, H. A (1986). The conservation and rehabilitation of African lands