We believe the Sahelian drylands have reached a tipping point. Populations are rising, the climate is changing and inappropriate expansion of mechanised farming and oil exploration is threatening the lives of rural people and pushing them deeper into poverty. In Africa, pastoralists’ nomadic way of life evolved in response to climate variability over 6,000 years ago, when the Sahara entered a period of prolonged desiccation. Since then, pastoralism has remained a highly successful strategy for dealing with uncertainty in marginal and variable environments – uncertainty that is likely to increase as a result of climate change (N.Brooks, 2006).
Increasingly abnormal climate events combined with ongoing political and economic marginalisation have now weakened pastoralists’ ability to adapt. Those who have contributed least to the problem of climate change, and who are proven to be good custodians of the environment, are seeing their opportunities for development destroyed. SOS Sahel UK is working with pastoralist, agro-pastoralist and farming communities in the Sahel to help them sustainably use and regenerate land, water, trees and woodlands, and secure their rightful access to and shared ownership of these common resources.
|Climate Change Adaptation|