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3 April 2013

SIANI Guest Blog: Re-greening the Sahel?

Photo: Anneli Sundin

Photo by: Anneli Sundin

Desertification in the Sahel – an untruthful story?

The area of the Sahel has long been depicted as a disaster area with one of the highest poverty levels in the world. This portrayal has been closely related to the notion of desertification; “an image of the advancing desert” where humans have been proclaimed as the culprit due to their unsustainable management of land. Desertification has gained a strong foothold as a type of development narrative however this assumption is the result of weak research and has been proven not to be accurate in all parts of the Sahel. Still these particular narratives have been the ones that have gained ground because they have been fashioned by powerful actors. The development narrative of desertification with its set of ideas about the environment has informed many decisions made by national governments, scientists and international donor organisations for many years, which have led to top-down approaches in land management and imbalances in power structures. Over time this has resulted in unsustainable land management practices that have been disadvantageous to the people living from this land.

(Innovative farmer in front of his fie

Read the full blog by Anelli Sundin

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