The role of forestry in the fight against desertification.
This paper reviews the background documents and the final report of the United Nations Conference on Desertification, held in Nairobi, Kenya, in August/September of 1977. Deforestation for grazing or agriculture has often been the initial step towards desertification. Consequently, tree planting plays a central role in the reclamation of desertified areas. Shelterbelts and other tree plantations protect agricultural land, settlements and communications.
Tree plantations in arid zones need effective protection against grazing and other improper land use. This must be explained to political leaders and local people. As a long-term investment, it requires a high level of education to understand its ultimate usefulness, and also research to choose the best species and techniques for different climatic and soil conditions is needed. In addition, afforestation will contribute to the solution of energy problems. Fast growing trees, even with artificial irrigation, can be the most efficient and economical way to cover energy needs of rural people. To accomplish the task of reclamation of decertified areas, international cooperation and technical and economic support from industrial countries to developing countries is needed.
The PDF includes a summary in Finnish.
Published in 1979