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Communication incl. Poster: BibTeX citation key:  Reenberg
Reenberg, A. 2009. Getting the climate impact right: Coupled human-environmental timelines of adaptive land use strategies in the Sahel. Work presented at Third International AMMA Conference, July 20—24, at Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso.
Added by: roussot 2009-10-19 15:22:32
Categories: Environment and Climate Monitoring, Society-Environment-Climate interactions
Keywords: Adaptation and Mitigation, Agriculture, Land use, Vegetation
Creators: Reenberg
Publisher: African Monsoon Multidisciplinary Analyses (Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso)
Collection: Third International AMMA Conference

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The paper investigates the development pathways of land use strategies in the agricultural frontline of the Sahel, with specific attention given to climate variability and socio-economic constraints.
The current study looks at field expansion and contraction of the cultivation frontier and its relation to climatic events as well as developments in the livelihood conditions (social, economic, as well as natural).
Coupled human-environmental timelines are suggested as a heuristic devise to explore the temporal co-evolution of driving forces and adaptive strategies from the 1960s to present time in Northern Burkina Faso. Issues addressed are: climatic events, population dynamics, agricultural strategies, agro-environmental conditions, non-agricultural activities, transport & infrastructure, migration, project interventions, etc. Satellite imagery and aerial photos reveal directions of change in the land use patters. Group interviews are used to document ways in which the local communities’ adaptive resource management strategies have been employed in the face of climatic and socio-economic events and changes in the recent past.
The study shows that field size and limits have changed, but not in a unidirectional way. Responses to change in rainfall are complex and include both negative and positive feed back between rainfall and field encroachment. Important, in order to comprehend the evolution of the land use pattern, is e.g. the role of the pastoral component in the land use and livelihood system.
It is concluded that pathways of change, in response to e. g. climatic variability and population dynamic, have to be looked at through the lenses of the co-dynamic of pastoral and agricultural land use systems (to assess vulnerability, likely outcome of climate variations and other external events, future land use change, possible tipping points etc).
Added by: roussot