Safeguarding Africa's environment: People's involvement key to managing natural resources
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A collection of seven papers examining the action of a number of communities throughout Africa to halt environmental degradation and conserve their local environmental resources. The first paper (Harsch, pp.2-7,40) examines the rise of degradation in the African continent and considers reasons for this increase, calling for a shift in approach to tackle the problem. The second paper 'Indigenous knowledge: harnessing farmers' wisdom' (Philipose p.6) highlights the value of African farmers' traditional practices in the conservation of natural resources and increasing food production. The third paper 'Role model in conserving energy: Kenyan women's group promotes fuel-efficient stoves' (Munyakho and Munyakho pp.8-9) examines the success of Keyo, a women's self help group in energy conservation. The introduction of a series of improved cooking devices has helped slow down the felling of trees, the main source of fuel, and reduced the labour load on women whose chore it is to collect fuel wood. At the same time the group is replenishing local forest resources through the establishment of tree nurseries. The fourth paper 'Communities manage Burkina's fragile lands' (Sawadogo pp.10-12) discusses the work of the Long Live the Farmer Association (AVLP) in Burkina Faso which has built stone barriers to combat erosion and has its members applying organic fertilizers to their fields. The importance of including women in rural development projects is highlighted and the conflict between livestock herders and sedentary agriculturalists in relation to degradation is discussed. The fifth paper 'Ethiopians' quest for water: local NGO recharges traditional water resources' focuses on the aims of a project organized by the Tigray Development Association (TDA) to improve the water supply of some 3000 villages in Tigray by the start of the next decade. The sixth paper 'Who can fish at Zimbabwean dam?: Disputes among villages hamper sustainability' (Sayagues pp.14-15) discusses the establishment of a community based committee to manage fishing resources at a state owned dam in Zimbabwe. It issues fishing licenses, controls fishing and guards against poaching. The final paper 'Wildlife conservation boosts communities: rural managers harmonize nature, development' examines the experiences in Zimbabwe of the Communal Areas Management Programme for Indigenous Resources (CAMPFIRE). Under the programme communities design wildlife utilization strategies, including user fees for tourists and hunters. (CAB Abstracts)
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