Integrated modelling of the ecosystem of the Niger river inland delta in Mali
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The Niger River inland delta in Mali constitutes a vast 36,000 km2 area of wetlands, producing numerous natural resources, exploited by fishermen, pastoralists and farmers. It is also a humid zone protected through the Ramsar convention of 1971. To promote the management of its natural resources, an integrated model has been developed in order to simulate the evolution of this ecosystem in relation to different scenarios of population increase, diminishing natural flooding (climatic droughts, construction of dams), increasing stress on land tenure and access to farming areas, technological advances, current administrative decentralisation policy. Possible applications of the model are illustrated through an analysis of the impact of the construction of dams on the traditional farming systems of the delta (fishing, rice cropping, pastoralism), and through a sensitivity analysis of an evolution in the fishing techniques on the revenues of fishermen. The validity of the results of the modelling is discussed and its use for other studies in the field of integrated natural resources management analysed.
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