Sustainable Management of Marginal Drylands (SUMAMAD)
University of Alexandria (Egypt)
Institut des Regions Arides (Tunisia)
Centre Nationale pour la Recherche Scientifique et Technologique (Burkina Faso)
Drylands - some of the world’s largest land reserves and home to much of Africa´s wildlife diversity - are particularly vulnerable to climatic and human pressures. In light of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) and the Millennium Development Goal on ensuring environmental sustainability, the SUMAMAD project aims to enhance the sustainable management and conservation of marginal drylands and its peoples. Within Africa, the project is focusing on sites in Burkina Faso, Egypt and Tunisia.
The purpose of the project is to foster the rehabilitation of degraded drylands and, simultaneously, enable marginal dryland communities to reduce their dependency on drylands and to improve their well-being. This will be done through better management of natural resources and encouragement of alternative income sources. To achieve these objectives, each project site conducts research on improved land and water management practices and explores opportunities for alternative income-generating activities, such as eco-tourism or manufacturing of local handicrafts or products. The current phase of the project is also looking at developing scenarios on how local communities can adapt to the impacts of climate change. Capacity-building, with a focus on sustainable and indigenous dryland management practices, is a key element of SUMAMAD.
UNU-INWEH is conducting scientific drylands research and promoting alternative livelihoods in dryland communities together with partner institutions in project sites. UNU-INWEH is a part of SUMAMAD Core Management Group alongside the Man and the Biosphere Programme (MAB) of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). Project results will be presented to local and national decision-makers for uptake into local and national policies, with a view to up-scale project activities or apply them at multiple sites in the project countries or in similar regions.