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Senegal natural resources management assessment

by Portal Web Editor last modified Mar 01, 2013 07:03 PM
Contributors: Grosenick, Gerold, Djegal, Abdoulay, King, Jack W., Karsh, Ed, Warshall, Peter

The purpose of this report was to identify natural resource management problems in Senegal, with a focus on soil, water, vegetation and animals. Recommendations are not given due to USAID Dakar restrictions.Senegal struggles with growing population, international trade changes, and droughts. The country depends economically on agriculture, which necessitates sustainable agricultural practices. However, with rising population there has been increasing pressure on agricultural land and soils have become less productive. Concurrently, fish and wildlife populations have been stressed by increased hunting. Water is a plentiful and potentially valuable resource in some regions.Sustainability is defined as the possibility of continuing a particular management system cycle after cycle without declining yields over the cycles. Crops have become less sustainable because intensive use of land has led to decreased fallow periods, which has decreased the quality of the soil. This is exacerbated in areas that are prone to erosion. Regions that produce livestock are overgrazed due to consistently high demands on ecosystems that vary in their production of biomass each year. Closer to the coast, water supplies become contaminated with salt easily. Wood is harvested unsustainably in many areas, especially near urban centers.Since the 1980's the government has changed policies to reflect their recognition of the relationship between natural resource management and agricultural production. However, land tenure and lack of coordination among technical institutions has hindered efforts to improve resource management. Tree planting projects supported by USAID have been successful although the trees have not been agroforestry species. The next step could be to help people manage forests, field trees and plantations. During planning of development projects such as anti-salt dams or well drilling, the wide diversity of conditions in Senegal should be considered and resource management and mitigation measures should be explicit. Donors do not appear to have strong environmental assessment regulations or procedures to support this.

Author(s): Grosenick, Gerold , Djegal, Abdoulay , King, Jack W. , Karsh, Ed , Warshall, Peter

Publication Date: 1990

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