By Christopher Mesiku for Agroforestry World

May 22, 2012

In a recent BBC interview, World Agroforestry Centre scientists agree that the Sahara Desert is expanding and they are committed to support efforts to stop it.

Some experts have in the past suggested fuelwood as the driver of the desertification. Others say changing rainfall patterns and intensive land-use practises are responsible for the expansion.

Distinguished Board Research Fellow of the World Agroforestry Centre, Dennis Garrity as well as other Centre scientists are continuing their support for an African Union  initiative called the Great Green Wall of Africa in an effort to stop the expansion of the Sahara desert. In his opinion, what is needed is Evergreen Agriculture. Dennis says “Evergreen agriculture improves overall soil health which contributes to slowing the Sahara expansion.”

The Great Green Wall which will extend from the Senegalese coast to the Djibouti coast upon completion, can be achieved when practises such as Evergreen Agriculture are used. According to Dennis, Evergreen Agriculture offers one of the best defences against desertification because its affordable, sustainable and accessible farming methods benefit both rural smallholder farmers as well as the environment.

Listen to the BBC interview.

Find out more about the Centre’s desertification research.

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