This project focused on desertification mitigation and rural development. It involved restoration of vegetation cover with drought resistant perennial species in highly degraded extensive pasture lands, to mitigate desertification processes and to improve range lands productivity. This is a concrete demonstration project supported by the direct involvement of local communities. Successful actions already carried out in this field by the participants of the project as well as by other Mediterranean Countries, were taken into account, re-elaborated and exploited thus promoting South / South co-operation and exchange of knowledge. The activity also involved a discussion about methodology of intervention: the natural and socio-economic conditions that enable the optimisation of the interventions planned were analysed. Participation of all actors and especially of local communities was the key point in all the phases of the project: Participation was strengthened by means of dissemination and sensitisation campaigns and by training courses.

Title and acronym: Demonstration Project on Strategies to Combat Desertification in Arid Lands with Direct Involvement of Local Agropastoral Communities in North Africa

Dates: from July 2002 to July 2007

Location: Morocco and Tunisia

Source of Funding: European Commission - Short and Medium-term Priority Environmental Action Programme (SMAP)

Role of NRD: coordinator

Scientific responsible: Prof. G. Enne

NRD members and staff involved: Dr. Davide Bellavite, Dr. Marcello Lubino, Dr. Roberta Lobina