Celebrating World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought: Putting human factors at the Centre of restoring degraded lands and forests

Posted on June 15, 2021

The World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought is celebrated on 17 June and this day aims to not only highlight methods to prevent desertification, but also to encourage the discussion around resilience and recovery from drought. One of the most important aspects of combating desertification is through the management and reduction of deforestation.

One of our PhD students (Eugene Chia), under the supervision of Dr Francis Wasswa-Nsubuga aims at enhancing the restoration of degraded forests and lands in Cameroon by investigating the human dimensions that contribute to the restoration of degraded lands and forests.

Globally, trees matter in the restoration of degraded lands and forests. The decisions and choices to plant, keep and use trees in landscapes, depends on a combination of human driven factors. The influence of these factors varies from place to place, and unpacking/understanding them is a major step towards achieving local, national and international commitments to enhance ecosystems restoration. Research in the University of Pretoria is making contributions to the restoration debate through a Country level investigation in Cameroon.

Through the AFR100 initiative, the government of Cameroon has made commitments to restore an estimated 12 million hectares of degraded forests and lands, throughout the national territory. Cameroon's commitment to AFR100 is a continuation of efforts towards enhancing sustainable forest management, local development and climate change resilience. The greatest challenge in Cameroon, as in many other sub-Saharan countries, is to move from expressing ecological or biophysical potentials to actions at larger scales. This requires an understanding of the human driven factors. The current research will analyze the human dimensions of restoring degraded forests and lands in Cameroon. This is geared towards generating knowledge and information that will inform policymakers, resource management agencies, restoration practitioners, local communities, to develop policies and practices that will enhance the uptake and upscaling of restoration for local livelihood support and global environmental benefits.  

Also look at our gallery with images related to this topic here.

- Text provided by Eugene Chia

- Author Department of Geography, Geoinformatics and Meteorology
Published by Christel Hansen

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