Sub-Saharan Africa - Managing Land in a Changing Climate : An Operational Perspective for Sub-Saharan Africa

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World Bank

Livelihoods, food security, and development processes in Sub-Saharan Africa are highly dependent on land management practices to generate natural ecosystem goods and services. Out of a total population of about 717 million people, almost 60 percent depend for their livelihood on agriculture, hunting, fishing, or forestry. However, unsustainable land management already is leading to large-scale land degradation trends, which pose a threat to food security and poverty alleviation in Sub-Saharan Africa. Climate change threatens to exacerbate and add to the existing vulnerabilities. Evidence has shown that the number of people affected by climate variability, through floods and droughts, is already increasing. Much-needed increases in agricultural production have, as a result, been unrealized. These outcomes place smallholder farmers, who depend largely on rainfed agriculture, in highly vulnerable circumstances under climate-change predictions. The objective of this work is to improve practical knowledge resources for Sub-Saharan African countries, regional institutions, and development practitioners at the World Bank and other partner institutions to help them make informed decisions about: (i) the risks posed by climate variability and change to land-resource-dependent livelihoods in Sub-Saharan Africa; and (ii) Sustainable Land and Water Management (SLWM) approaches and practices that are best suited for meeting development objectives while also addressing the challenge posed by climate-change adaptation and mitigation.

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