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					                    Sustainable
                    Management of
                    the Agro-Pastoral
                    Resource Base in
                    the Maghreb




Evaluation Report




                        September 2005




                          The International Center for
                          Agricultural Research in the
                          Dry Areas is responsible for
                          managing and coordinating
                          the project
                                Sustainable
                                Management of
                                the Agro-Pastoral
                                Resource Base in
                                the Maghreb


Funding agency: The SWISS AGENCY FOR
DEVELOPMENT AND COOPERATION (SDC)

Coordinated: International Center for
Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas
(ICARDA)

Partners: National Programs (NARS) of
Algeria, Libya, Mauritania, Morocco, and
Tunisia

Duration: January 2002 – December 2005




            Evaluation conducted by Mounir Louhaichi, PhD.
CONTENTS

INTRODUCTION.........................................................................................................1
   Background ..............................................................................................................1
   Project Ojectives......................................................................................................2
   Evaluation methodology.........................................................................................3

EVALUATION OF PROGRESS TOWARDS THE TERMS OF
REFERENCE...............................................................................................................4
   1. Appraisals of current environmental status of the target zones,
      the socio-economic status of the communities that utilize them,
      and of past research and development efforts...............................................4
   2. Rangeland contribution to livestock nutrition..................................................9
   3. Mechanisms for empowering local communities .........................................13
   4. Integrating available technical, institutional and policy options .................18
   5. Institutional Strengthening, Training and Networking .................................20

EVALUATION OF EACH COUNTRY PROGRESS TOWARD
WORKPLAN ..............................................................................................................26
   1. Algeria Workplan...............................................................................................26
       Theme 1: Characterization and functioning of the local communities
                of the Lahmad (Thlidjène-Algeria) ..........................................28
       Theme 2: Livestock system and mode of utilization of rangeland
                in the Lahmad zone ................................................................29
       Theme 3: Land cultivation in the Lahmad zone: an unavoidable
                agricultural product .................................................................29
       Theme 4: Evaluation of the agro-pastoral vegetation dynamics in
                Lahmad zone ..........................................................................30
       Theme 5: The region of Lahmad: an area in mutation ............................31
       Theme 6: Algerian experience in rangeland resources...........................32


   2. Libya Workplan .................................................................................................33
       Theme 1: Stockholders meetings and workshops ..................................34
       Theme 2: Rangeland resources identifications and mapping using
                GIS and RS techniques ..........................................................35
       Theme 3: Effect of current land use on rangeland deterioration .............35
       Theme 4: Local Population Strategies of natural resources use.............36
       Theme 5: Effects of enclosures on rangeland improvement and
                rehabilitation ...........................................................................37
   3. Mauritania Workplan ........................................................................................40
      Site selection ..........................................................................................43
      Main concerns of the local communities .................................................44
      Accomplishment to date .........................................................................44


   4. Morocco Workplan............................................................................................45
      Theme 1: Land cultivation a factor for rangeland degradation: State,
               dynamics, and impact on the pastoral system ........................47
      Theme 2: Study of rangelands degradation in the Maâtarka zone..........49
      Theme 3: Study of the pastoral water points management in the
               rural community of Maâtarka ..................................................53
      Theme 4: Pastoral cooperative of Tendrara - Maâtarka .........................55


   5. Tunisia Workplan ..............................................................................................57
      Theme 1: Assessment of rangeland degradation of Ouled Chéhida
               socio territorial unit (STU) .......................................................59
      Theme 2: Local population strategies of natural resources use..............63
      Theme 3: Assessment of the viability of household in agro-pastoral
               area ........................................................................................63
      Theme 4: Tentative modelling of rangeland degradation........................64
      Theme 5: Modelling approach of the sustainability of the whole
               agro-pastoral system ..............................................................64

CONCLUSION...........................................................................................................65

APPENDICES............................................................................................................70
   Appendix A. Project evaluation terms of reference .........................................71
   Appendix B. Evaluation time table......................................................................72
   Appendix C. Tentative agenda for the final conference ..................................74
LIST OF FIGURES

Figure 1. Atriplex plantation, Lahmad - Algeria. ...................................................10
Figure 2. Cactus plantation, Lahmad - Algeria.....................................................10
Figure 3. Range rest, Jabal Al Akhdar - Libya......................................................10
Figure 4. Feed block demonstration, Maatarka - Morocco.................................11
Figure 5. Members of the local community taking part of a planning session,
          Ouled Chahida - Tunisia. ........................................................................13
Figure 6. Examples of community outreach offered through the HCDS,
          Lahmad - Algeria. .....................................................................................15
Figure 7. Examples of community outreach offered through the PRODESUD
          Projec, Ouled Chahida - Tunisia............................................................16
Figure 8: Impact of land cultivation on rangelands, Lahmad - Algeria. ............29
Figure 9. Cereal cultivation, Lahmad - Algeria. ....................................................30
Figure 10. Shrub plantation (Atriplex spp.), Lahmad - Algeria...........................31
Figure 11. Water and soil conservation techniques, Lahmad - Algeria............31
Figure 12. The right side of the fence (enclosure) has more vegetative cover
         than the left side (open to grazing), Jabal Al Akhdar - Libya. ...........39
Figure 13. Invasion of Peganum harmala, Maatarka-Tendrara - Morocco......51
Figure 14. Sandy wind veils cover large area, Ouled Chahida - Tunisia. ........61
LIST OF TABLES

Table 1. Rangeland contribution in the Maghreb region to livestock
         nutrition..............................................................................................9
Table 2. SDC funded workshops and annual meetings for the Maghreb
         countries. .........................................................................................21
Table 3. Additional trainings that benefited NARS scientists. ........................22
Table 4. Themes included in the Algerian workplan.......................................27
Table 5: Distribution of the total surface area (ha) and its contribution to
         livestock (FU/ha/year)......................................................................28
Table 6. Themes included in the Libyan workplan. ........................................34
Table 7. Themes included in the Mauritanian workplan. ................................41
Table 8. Themes included in the Moroccan workplan. ...................................46
Table 9. Change over time of the rangeland cultivation. ................................48
Table 10. Biomass production (Kg DM/ha). ...................................................50
Table 11. Productivity (FU/ha) of the main rangeland types. .........................51
Table 12. Themes included in the Tunisian workplan ....................................58
LIST OF ABBREVIATIONS AND ACRONYMS
ACSAD    Arabic Center for Agricultural Research in Dry Areas
AD       Algerian Dinar
ANPP     Annual Net Primary Production
ARC      Agricultural Research Center (Libya)
CIRAD    Centre de Coopération Internationale en Recherche
         Agronomique pour le Développement (France)
CNRADA   Centre National de la Recherche Agronomique et de
         Développement Agricole (Mauritania)
CRDA     Commissariat Régional de Développement Agricole (Tunisia)
CRRA     Centre Régional de la Recherche Agronomique (Morocco)
DRFV     Direction Recherche, Formation, et Vulgarisation (Mauritania)
FLDDPS   Projet de Lutte contre la Désertification et de Développement du
         Pastoralisme de la Steppe (Algeria)
GDA      Groupement de Développement Agricole (Tunisia)
GIS      Geographical Information Systems
GPS      Global Positioning Systems
HCDS     Haut Commissariat au Développement de la Steppe (Algeria)
ICARDA   International Center for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas
IFAD     International Fund for Agricultural Development
IFPRI    International Food Policy Research Institute
INRAM    Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique Maroc
INRAA    Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique Algérie
INRAT    Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique de Tunisie
IRA      Institut des Régions Arides (Tunisia)
ITELV    Institut Technique des Elevages
ITGC     Institut Technique des Grandes Cultures (Algeria)
M&M      Mashreq and Maghreb
MD       Moroccan Dirham
MDRE     Ministère du Développement Rural et de l’Environnement
         (Mauritania)
NARS     National Agricultural Research Systems
NDVI     Normalized Difference Vegetation Index
NENA     Near East and North Africa
NRM      Natural Resource Management
OEP      Office d'Elevage et Pâturages (Tunisia)
PADEL      Projet de Gestion des Parcours et de Développement de
           l’Elevage (Mauritania)
PDPEO      Projet de Développement Pastoral et de l’Elevage dans
           l’Oriental (Morocco)
PRODESUD Plan de Développement Agropastoral et Promotion des
         Initiatives Locales du Sud Est (Tunisia)
RS         Remote Sensing
SDC        Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation
SPOT       Satellite Pour l’Observation de la Terre
STU        socio territorial unit
TD         Tunisian Dinar
TOR        Terms of Reference
TBA        To Be Arranged
US $       United States Dollars
WP         Workplan
INTRODUCTION

Background

During the final workshop of the first phase of the Sustainable Management of
the Agro-Pastoral Resource project which was held from 20 - 22nd, 2001 in
Oujda, Morocco, there was consensus among the participants that a second
phase of the project should be developed, aiming at extending the
methodology developed and transferring the results of this initial phase to a
larger area in Morocco and to selected pilot sites in other countries in the
Maghreb region. Thus, a new agreement between the Government of
Switzerland, represented by the Swiss Agency for Development and Co-
operation (SDC) and the International Center for Agricultural Research in the
Dry Areas (ICARDA) was signed. Initially this second phase extends for a
period of 3 years (October 2001 - September 2004). However, given the
delay in getting some countries started, the project was extended until the end
of December 2005 with no additional funding.

The project has being coordinated by ICARDA and implemented in
partnership with the national programs of the five countries of the Maghreb.
Therefore, each country has designated one of its scientists to serve as a
"National Coordinator". National coordinators would operate in close
coordination with ICARDA’s Project Coordinator and ICARDA’s North Africa
Regional Office. Appointed national coodinator are as follow:
             Algeria:      Mr. Nour El Dine Redjel (HCDS)
             Libya:        Mr. Hassen Eswaihel Estaita (ARC)
             Mauritania    Dr. Tall Amadou (PADEL)
             Morocco:      Mr. Abdesselem Maatougui (INRA-Oujda)
             Tunisia:      Dr. Ali Nefzaoui (INRAT)

It should be noted that Algeria and Mauritania have previously assigned Mr.
Mohamed Kanoun (INRAA) and Mr. Dia Amadou Tidiane (CNRADA)
respectively as their national coordinators.

A "Regional Research Coordination and Planning Meeting" was held annually
in which the scientists from the national institutions collaborating in the
project, ICARDA, and other collaborating institutions, shared and reviewed the
results of the past work and finalized plans for the coming season.
Project Ojectives

The second phase of the regional project on the Sustainable Management of
the Agro-Pastoral Resource Base in the Maghreb aims at developing
decision-making tools and strengthening the capacities of Maghrebian NARS
in sustainable management of the agro-pastoral base, by building on the
methodologies developed and the results obtained in the Oujda project. The
development of these tools would be undertaken in pilot sites. This would
allow the project to analyze, in close collaboration with pastoralists and
decision-makers, the feasibility and acceptability of these tools.

Furthermore the project aims at working closely with on-going research and/or
development projects concerned with dryland natural resource management
to take advantage of existing resources and work already done.

Specific objectives include:

1.    Building on the experience from Oujda and involvement with on-
      going projects: The methodology developed by the Oujda project would
      be used to assess range condition and encroachment of agricultural
      practices into traditional rangeland. The project covers five agro-
      pastoral areas in the Maghreb region:
                Algeria:         Lahmad (Thlidjène), Tebessa
                Libya:           Southern part of Jabal Al Akhdar
                Mauritania:      Moit - Bokhol, Department of Mongue
                Morocco:         Maatarke - Tendrara, Oujda
                Tunisia:         Ouled Chahida, Tataouine

2.    Determining the rangeland contribution to livestock nutrition and
      the technical, institutional and policy options to allow sustainable feed.

3.    Identifying the mechanisms for empowering local communities:
      These mechanisms should be produced and discussed with farmers and
      pastoralists, policy makers, provincial heads and leaders of local
      organizations and institutions, and stakeholders of on-going
      development projects.

4.    Integrating available technical, institutional and policy options: The
      outputs of objectives 1, 2, and 3 will be integrated into a range
      management scheme that would sustain the production system.

5.    Institutional Strengthening, Training and Networking: The project
      will be implemented with a multi-disciplinary team approach within
      countries, and inter-country exchange of results. The networking
      concept is a main foundation of this project, which will encourages
      complementarity and efficiency of research. Network activities will
      include information exchange, training, regional study tours and
      workshops, and the personal and professional relationships, which will
      be established among scientists.


Sustainable Management of the Agro-Pastoral Resource Base in the Maghreb           2
Evaluation methodology

The aim of the evaluation of the sustainable management of the agro-pastoral
resource base in the Maghreb project is to document and summarize
progress relevant to the project outputs listed in the terms of reference
(Appendix A) and to evaluate each countries progress toward accomplishing
each output listed in their workplan (WP). The proposed evaluation approach
was discussed with ICARDA project coordinator Dr. James Tiedeman.
Country visits were completed during the last three weeks of September
2005, assisted by each country national coordinator, collaborating institutions,
and research and development projects staff. Most participating countries
provided strong field support and made staff available for the evaluation. This
assistance is gratefully acknowledged.

Given the short period allocated to visit the project sites, meet with national
coordinators, the project team, collaborating institutions and the local authority
(average of 3 days/country - Appendix B), I found it difficult to access all
relevant and complete information in the time available. Therefore, I had to
rely on annual progress reports for a description of what was achieved during
the project and cross-checked this by discussions with national coordinator,
its staff, and the local community during my field visit.




Sustainable Management of the Agro-Pastoral Resource Base in the Maghreb       3
EVALUATION OF PROGRESS TOWARDS THE TERMS
OF REFERENCE
1. Appraisals of current environmental status of the target zones, the
socio-economic status of the communities that utilize them, and of past
research and development efforts, as the basis for monitoring change
and subsequent appraisals of the socioeconomic and environmental
consequences of technical and public management options for
rangeland/livestock/cropping systems in the study areas.

This section has been investigated in depth by most countries. More details
exist within each country’s workplan. The methodology adopted by country
members to assess the environmental and the socioeconomic status were
based on conducting rural surveys and field measurements (transects,
sampling) at the lowest hierarchical level using a participatory approach. This
methodology allowed direct involvement of rural families in expressing what
their problems and concerns are, as well as in proposing the solutions they
feel are necessary and feasible.

In addition several efforts were made to assess the ecological condition of
rangelands as affected by livestock and human impacts using remote sensing
(RS) and geographical information systems (GIS) and techniques.

Factors contibuting to the environmental degradation and impacting the
socioeconic status were found by the project to be in most cases similar
among the Maghreb countries. The following is a summary of their findings:

Low and erratic rainfall regimes leading to frequent and severe
droughts: In the past few years, several countries in the Maghreb have
experienced continuous drought.

Rural population growth: As indicated in the Algerian original workplan, the
rural population in the steppe of Algeria in 1966 was estimated at 1 million
persons, by 2002, it has grown to 7 million persons (Bensouiah and Bedrani
2002). During this time agricultural cropland and settlement (rural housing)
areas were expanding via rangeland conversion. Agricultural cropland and
intermittant cropland areas jumped from 1 million ha in 1963 to 3 million ha in
1996.

Improvement in the rural population’s standard of living: The socio-
economic development in general, and improvements in means of
communication and information in particular, have brought about the following
consequences:

        The creation of a new demand for food products, clothing, etc. making
        it necessary to seek new sources of income as well as to intensify the
        level of exploitation of the agro-pasroral resource base;
        The widespread use of the tractor for ploughing leading to rapid retreat
        of the steppe areas;
Sustainable Management of the Agro-Pastoral Resource Base in the Maghreb      4
       The quick transfer of livestock from one place to another via
       mechanical transportation (trucks) does not allow plants the opportunity
       to fully recover. This has contributed in part to the eradication of the
       most valuable/palatable species and invasion of unpalatable species
       such as Peganum harmala.

Disruption of traditional grazing system: Traditional pastoral systems
“nomadism”, which evolved over hundreds of years, contained strategies for
coping with the various climatic, physical, and biological environment. The
free movement of livestock was severely restricted through the creation of
international boundaries, which cut across pastoral routes. Furthermore, the
administratives boundaries set by governments during the post colonization
period did not match tribunal boundaries. This mismatch accentuated the
sedentarisation of herders, overgrazing, destruction of woody plant species
through burning for fuel and contributed to land degradation.

Encroachment of agricultural practices into traditional rangeland: The
change in the mode from nomadism to agropastoral systems have lead to the
conversion of the best rangeland (deeper soils with higher nutrient status) to
cropland (cereals). Many of these more productive rangeland sites were
genetic reservoirs of beneficial range plants during times of prolonged drought
(five or more years duration). Because of conversion to cropland these safe
sites or “refugia” for native plants no longer exist.

Individualism: Unfortunately, this shift from the pastoral to the agro-pastoral
way of life was accompanied with a different attitude of farmers/pastoralists
towards the land. Now we witness an erosion of moral values with a lack of
respect to nature (competition for forage and land resources). Thus, early
grazing and overgrazing have become a common problem.

Dilemma of governmental policies: Both colonial and post-independence
governements have invested funds in rangeland development with particular
emphasis on rational pastoralism, but in many cases these efforts have failed
to achieve sustainable results because of high livestock density. For
instance, the policy to protect livestock during harsh times pushed
governments to intervene with various forms of assistance to farmers and
herders, including distribution of subsidized animal feed, rescheduling of
loans, investments in water development, and expansion of animal health
programs. Although they have helped limit production losses caused by
drought, the drought management programs have also had negative impacts.
These include the following:

        They have probably accelerated rangeland degradation in the long
        term by undermining the traditional process of adjusting flock size to
        inter-annual climatic variations. Herd sizes have increased sharply in
        recent years, and grazing practices have changed so that many of the
        animals no longer leave the rangeland areas during the bad years (low
        rainfall) but have their feed and water trucked in. This practice leads
        to overgrazing , reduces the natural seeding of annual pasture species,
        disturbs the soil, and contributes to wind erosion, particularly in areas
        near water and feed supply points;
Sustainable Management of the Agro-Pastoral Resource Base in the Maghreb          5
        They have sent inappropriate signals to the agro-pastoral communities
        to continue dependence on these programs, leading to “subsidy
        hunters”, unsustainable farming practices, and environmental
        degradation.

Lack of trust between the authority and the rural community: Social
organizations and relationships are also disturbed by some administrative
considerations. In many cases, the delineation of the rural communes
(administrative entities) does not always correspond to tribal land boundaries.
For instance the process of collective land privatisation in Tunisia has created
confusion and lack of trust and stimulated the desire of land appropriation
mainly through cropping. Another example in Morocco where the president of
the Union of Cooperatives expressed concerns about the rested area. His
worry was that once these rested areas are improved and ready to be utilized
there is no guaranty that herders from neighboring areas will be excluded
from grazing. In this regard, whatever proposed institutional option, the
execution of the project, the effective participation and the sustainability can
be guaranteed only if beneficiaries are given security in terms of duration of
grazing and protection from intruders and other users of the rangelands
resources.

Lack of grazing policies and law enforcement: Several countries have
already established pastoral codes that help manage these natural resources.
Unfortunateley, in many cases these regulations are not widely enforced. In
Mauritania, at the exception of vital areas, the pastoral code declares all
rangeland as free access open to everyone. In the past, tribal groups used to
be able to restrict use somewhat but not anymore.

Much is being learned about land management in the Maghreb. Several
papers summarizing what has been learned about rangeland degradation,
rural social structures, and the livelihood of the communities, will be presented
during the final conference to be held in Oujda, Morocco (Appendix C).

Concerning the appraisals of past research and development efforts, the
question as stated in the TOR, refers to each country’s target zone.
Unfortunately, for most countries few activities have taken place before this
project. In the case of Tunisia, most of the research instititions (IRA and
INRAT) as well as development efforts have emerged at the beginning of this
century. It is too soon for this project to evaluate the impact of the ongoing
development project (PRODESUD) for this country.

In contrast, because of the strategic importance of the Jabal Al Akhdar, Libya,
this pilot site has benefited from several studies:
        C. LOTTI                 1974 Soil survey
        FAO                      1974 Summary report on marginal lands
        ARLAB                    1980 Surface and ground water
                                      Climatological survey
        SWECO                    1980 Land survey mapping and pasture survey

Sustainable Management of the Agro-Pastoral Resource Base in the Maghreb       6
        ACSAD                    1983 Vegetation cover study
        Belgasem Eljared         2001 M.A. Thesis dealing with the problems of
                                      natural resources deterioration


Maps on range condition and encroachment of agricultural practices
into traditional rangeland in the study areas.

Different techniques have been employed to generate maps of rangeland
condition of the study areas. Such techniques included computer
classification (supervised and unsupervised classification), vegetation indices
(NDVI), digitizing on screen …etc. The project presented a unique
opportunity for the Maghreb countries to go through the process of learning
essential skills (RS/GIS workshop), acquiring remote sensing data (LandSat
imagery), performing analysis, validating results, and generating maps.

An attempt was made by the Moroccan team to map the encroachment of
agricultural practices into traditional rangeland using LandSat imagery (30 m
spatial resolution). Unfortunately, the results of the analysis were not
convincing. This is primarily due to the fact that very little area has been
cultivated in the perimeter site (1.5%).

More details concerning what has been accomplished for each participating
countries can be found in their respective workplan.

Some challenges that participating countries have to face when tackling this
task include:
       RS data availability: specific LandSat scenes were not available for the
       requested dates (Tunisia),
       Large areas: the areas involved would require a lot of man power to
       ground-truth and validate the results,
       Low budget: specialized computer hardware and software as well as
       RS data cost are quite expensive,
       Training: building the technological skills required for computer based
       RS techniques takes a lot of training and patience,
       Qualified personal: people specialized in GIS analysis and image
       processing are in high demand (Mauritania).

At the exception of Morocco and Tunisia, the rest of the countries have to rely
on the technical staff and equipment of other national institutions for carrying
out this activity:
        Algeria:        INRAA and ITGC
        Libya:          Libyan Center for Remote Sensing & Space Science and
                        University of Omar Al Mokhtar
        Mauritania:     Service Agro-Meterologic



Sustainable Management of the Agro-Pastoral Resource Base in the Maghreb         7
In summary, since the beginning of the last century (and particularly during
the last two or three decades), there has been increasingly rapid degradation
of the natural vegetation and soil resource as a result of population growth,
expansion of livestock populations, recurrent drought, mechanization, the
spread of cropping agriculture and the sedentarization of the population.




Sustainable Management of the Agro-Pastoral Resource Base in the Maghreb    8
2. Rangeland contribution to livestock nutrition
A report on rangeland contribution to livestock nutrition and the
technical, institutional and policy options to allow sustainable feed.

The contribution of rangelands to livestock forage is low due to the
tremendous increase in animal population, but also to the loss of traditional
management tools and to the development of a sedentary production systems
with herders producing only part or the total feed requirements then migrating
for very short periods to other cropping areas. Additionally, the frequent
occurrence of drought in many countries results in widening the gap between
the feed supply and nutrient requirements of small ruminants.

Consequently, the contribution of forage from rangeland to the total sheep diet
is less than it was under traditional herding systems. Presently rangeland
may contribute only between 10 to 25% of the total forage consumed by
livestock in years with low rainfall. The remaining feed comes from crop
residues, supplementation and grazing areas away from the farm.

An estimation of rangeland contribution to livestock nutrition for the Maghreb
region is summarized in Table 1. In another report published by the World
Bank in 1995, estimates that these rangelands contributed between 10 to
25% to livestock needs, compared to 65% in 1960. Therefore, there is a
dramatic decline in rangeland that can be attributed to factors listed earlier.

Table 1. Rangeland contribution in the Maghreb region to livestock
nutrition.

                              Bad Year             Average Year            Good year
     Rangeland
                               5 -25%                  25-45%               45-80%
     contribution

In Tunisia, agriculturalists report that over a ten year period they expect there
will be 6 bad years, 3 moderate year, and one good year. Unfortunately, even
in good years the contribution of rangeland does not meet the needs of the
livestock.
Technical options are well known to government agricultural advisors in each
country. Experience over the last few decades, demonstrates that the key
issue to rangelands development and management is closely linked to socio-
institutional aspects than technical matters.
For instance, plantation of fodder shrubs used to rapidly increase the forage
production and to reduce the chronicle shortage in forage is a common
practice (Figures 1 and 2). Once these plantations are well established, a
carrying capacity is calculated based on their productivity. Usually these
improved areas are open for grazing during the fall/winter season for a period
of 3 months. In Algeria the carrrying capacity is estimated between 6 and 12
head per hectare depending on the year. Range rest is another low cost
technique (Figure 3). Unfortunately, unless some kind of incentive is given to
the local populations, it is likely that people will tresspass.

Sustainable Management of the Agro-Pastoral Resource Base in the Maghreb               9
Figure 1. Atriplex plantation, Lahmad - Algeria.




Figure 2. Cactus plantation, Lahmad - Algeria.




Figure 3. Range rest, Jabal Al Akhdar - Libya.




Sustainable Management of the Agro-Pastoral Resource Base in the Maghreb   10
There are several other techniques that have the potential to effectively
alleviate the pressure applied to rangelands. Supplementation is a common
practice in the region. Unfortunately, the high cost of conventional
concentrate feeds prohibits their wide-scale use, especially by small farmers.
Therefore, it is necessary to find alternative supplements to improve the
nutrition and thus the productivity of small ruminants.

The practice of feed block is gaining popularity. In Morocco a workshop on
the use of feedblock was organized during the month of May 2005 (Figure 4).
Another trial will be conducted during the month of October 2005 at the
project site.




Figure 4. Feed block demonstration, Maatarka - Morocco.

Along the same line, an interesting research topic is being conducted in
Tunisia by Mr. Nasr Ragged (INRAT). He is looking at the nutritional aspect
of the rangeland. Based on reclamation of the rural community of Ouled
Chahida, rangelands can be classified into two categories:

        Good rangelands, (called Mredda) are localized on deep fertile soils.
        These rangeland yield higher nutritional values which is reflected on
        the growth and good health of animals using them.
        Bad rangelends, (called Mohttma) grow on skeletical soils rich in gypse
        or limestone. Animals grazing in this type of rangeland are usually
        skinny and are subject to heath problems, particularly bone disorders
        (fracture and or arthrite).

This classification is not based on the vegetative cover (biomass). In fact, it
contradicts what is considered conventional wisdom. Because herders
frequent more the Mredda than the Mhottma, its vegetation is under
continuous grazing pressure and therefore more degraded. In contrast the
Mhottma are less utilized and their vegetative cover is higher.

The institutional options are key to the success of the technical options. Past
experience has shown that when sharing the same territory (collective
rangelands) local populations cannot be dealt with individually. Several
associations have been created (pastoral cooperatives). These instititions
need more supervision and financial incentives in order to become fully
independent.

Sustainable Management of the Agro-Pastoral Resource Base in the Maghreb          11
The policy option remains the most difficult, given the collective nature of the
land. Yet, the degree differs from country to country. For instances, pastoral
codes exist but are difficult to implement.

All these options are intermingled, and unless there is the will demonstrated
by policy makers, no progress will be made.

The major issue that emerges from these findings is whether the present
pathway of the livestock production system is sustainable. Clearly, over the
years, the agro-pastoral rural communities have developed their own
strategies for coping with harsh conditions and in particular prolonged
drought. These include:
        Semi-transhumant grazing systems that limit risks of having insufficient
        forage in any one location (currently practiced in Algeria and Libya).
        Mutual grazing arrangements with more distant communities for access
        to their resources in drought years. In many cases, herders from
        neighboring communities move their flocks to new locations without
        any prior arrangements which creates conflicts among the agro-
        pastoral communities. This is commonly practiced in Morocco and
        Mauritania.
        Adjustment of livestock number and stocking rates depending on the
        rainfall conditions, to best match available grazing resources. This
        option use to be a common practice before the subsidized feeding
        program was initiated.
        Selling part of their livestock to buy feed (barley) or in the worst case
        opting out from the livestock industry.
        Diversification into crops and livestock (agro-pastoral) particularly near
        dwellings.
        During good rainfall years, storage of surplus grain and straw as a
        reserve.
        Diversification among animal species (sheep, goats, cattle, camels,
        poultry). In recent years, the introduction of cattle is gaining popularity
        particularly, in Morocco. Semi-intensive poultry production is being
        introduced through development projects such as the case of HCDS,
        Algeria.
        Diversification of income into non-agricultural activities such as the
        transportation business, small trade, or seasonal migration to urban
        areas. In the case of Morocco, 54% of the local community has other
        income generating activities (other than farming and stock rearing).
        Investment in water retention techniques (pond, cisterns).
        Seeking alternative feed resources:
            o Plantation of fodder crop such as spineless cactus and Atriplex
                spp.
            o Improvement of agriculture by-products such as ammoniation of
                straw.
Some of these strategies may work on the short run but may not be
sustainable in the long-term.
For most countries the information related to rangeland contribution to
livestock nutrition exists and it shouldn’t take too long to generate a report.
Sustainable Management of the Agro-Pastoral Resource Base in the Maghreb          12
3. Mechanisms for empowering local communities
A report on mechanisms for empowering local communities produced
and discussed with farmers and pastoralists, policy makers, provincial
heads and leaders of local organizations and institutions, and
stakeholders of on-going development projects.

Despite policies related to macro-economic stabilization and both socio-
economic and political recognition by governments of the important
contribution being made by pastoral resources, degradation of rangeland
resources and the poverty level of the community using them remain a great
challenge. In fact, rangelands differ from other areas in that their ecology is
particularly fragile and the climate is highly variable. This means expectations
in terms of project outcomes are different, particularly in relation to their time-
scale. These expectations need to be considered in strategies.

Involvement of rural community in the planning and implementation
phases of the project to ensure that the project is sustainable and
answers real and urgent local needs.
Algeria, Libya, Morocco, and Tunisia have gained effective tools and
methodologies using the participatory approach through the M& M project that
are now benefiting the whole region. In this respect, Dr. Ali Nefzaoui (INRA
Tunisia) has organized and conducted the participatory approach workshop
held in Tataouine, Tunisia, (Figure 5).




Figure 5. Members of the local community taking part of a planning session,
Ouled Chahida - Tunisia.




Sustainable Management of the Agro-Pastoral Resource Base in the Maghreb        13
Collaboration and knowledge sharing is another expected outcome that
can help strengthen rural community’s capacity for long-term rural
development.
Knowledge can be gained from modern, scientific research and from the
experience of local rural populations. This is evidently the case of the PhD
dissertation conducted by Mr. Nasr Ragged (INRAT) at rural community of
Ouled Chahida, Tunisia (see theme 2).

Sustainable management of the agro-pastoral resource base in the
Maghreb involves various activities ranging from basic infrastructure to
health and education matters, which correspond to the first needs of
rural communities.
It is therefore recommended that all other concerned ministries and
institutions be engaged from the beginning and involved in the implementation
of all allied activities. The degree of progress in this subject varies from
country to country.

A good example is demonstrated in Lahmad site (Algeria), where several
concrete actions can be seen (Figure 6) as the result of a national program
implemented through the HCDS and includes several components such as:

        Rural housing
        Water resources
        Rangeland improvement
        For every improved hectare the grazing fee is estimated at 2000 AD/head (28
        US $). Seventy percent of the generated revenue goes back to the rural
        community. The objective is that by 2015, there would be enough financial
        resources for this activity to continue without governmental assistance
        Water and soil conservation
        Electification (solar energy)
        Small ruminant
        Poultry production for the woman
        Extension

A similar development project is underway in southeast Tunisia (PRODESUD)
which fortunately includes the rural community of Ouled Chahida (Figure7).

The situation is less prosperous in Mauritania. The national coordinator Dr.
Tall Amadou is seeking funds to create micro-projects at the household level
to improve rural population income. Local population have to walk for 4 to 5
km to get drinkable water.




Sustainable Management of the Agro-Pastoral Resource Base in the Maghreb         14
Range improvement                                 Poultry production




Water harvesting technique (pond)                  Irrigated agriculture (cerals and olive trees)




Domestic rabbit production                       Electrification (solar energy)

Figure 6. Examples of community outreach offered through the HCDS, Lahmad
          - Algeria.




Sustainable Management of the Agro-Pastoral Resource Base in the Maghreb                  15
  Range rest                                       Shrub plantation using local ecotypes




  Feed Blocks                                    Ammoniation of straw




  Creation of new water resources                 Water and soil conservation


Figure 7. Examples of community outreach offered through the PRODESUD
          Projec, Ouled Chahida - Tunisia.




Sustainable Management of the Agro-Pastoral Resource Base in the Maghreb               16
Organizing farmers into community or producer groups can improve
their production, market, and bargaining powers.

The purpose of group formation is to target the poorer members of the
communities so they can be involved in development activities and gain
advantages in economies of scale for input purchases, agricultural crop
production, and marketing.

Phase II of the sustainable management of the agro-pastoral resource base
project calls for a strong institutional building to be promoted in particular the
development of grass roots institutions. The use of participatory tools became
the platform to the integration of such an association and will certainly yield
favorable environmental impacts.

Several associations already exist in most of the Maghreb countries. In
Mauritania a revised pastoral code has existed since 2000 and one of its main
goals is to preserve the mobility of the pastoral community.
Some of these pastoral type associations are:
        Nomads Pastoral Association (Mauritania)
        Transhumant Herders Association (Algeria)
        Pastoral cooperative union (Morocco)
        Agricultural Development Group (GDA) (Tunisia)

Unfortunately, these institutions are still lacking maturity and awerness. They
require supervision and a financial boost to stand on their feet.

Theme 4 of the Moroccan workplan illustrate a vivid example where the
project tried its best to reverse the current status. The undertaken exercise
has lead to a full diagnostic of the pastoral cooperatives in the Maâtarka area.
Several difficulties were identified and suggestions were proposed. Currently,
the project is promoting one selected cooperative so it can be used as a pilot
“model” for the rest of the cooperatives.

Last but not least Morocco and Tunisia are about to complete a research
project which has investigated in depth this particular topic. It is an IFAD
funded project entitled “Empowering the rural poor under volatile policy
environment”. This research project aims to answer the following central
question: what policy and institutional environment would empower the rural
people to get out of poverty? Taking as its primary example the critical issue
of decentralization of responsibility for natural resource management (NRM)
to rural communities in Morocco, Sudan and Tunisia. Since this research
covered the same territorial communities and carried out by the same NARS
scientists as the sustainable management of the agro-pastoral resource base
project (phase II), its findings would be beneficial to each respective rural
community.




Sustainable Management of the Agro-Pastoral Resource Base in the Maghreb       17
4. Integrating available technical, institutional and policy options
Identified technical, institutional and policy options developed are
integrated into a range management scheme that would sustain the
production system, and tested in pilot sites.

In order to meet ecological goals, and maintain community and social
structures, rangelands must be self reliant and have a sound economic base.
They also need to be resilient and profitable to enable rural communities to
manage these lands for the long term. Rangeland management for
sustainable development remains one of the major challenges facing
development projects, researchers, and policy makers.

The primary use of rangelands in the Maghreb countries is the grazing of
natural vegetation by livestock. This form of rangeland use provides the
cheapest source of feed for livestock. Therefore, the improvement of
rangeland management is fundamental for improved livestock production.

One of the project’s main objectives is to come up with an integrated range
management scheme that would sustain the production system. This
requires that all concerned parties and in particular the agro-pastoral
communities participate actively on a proposed plan, agree on it and then
implement it.

The level of awarness of the necessity to have in hand a sound range
management plan differed from country to country. The main
accomplishment toward meeting this objective are summarized below:

        Through this project, the local community of Ouled Chahida, Tataouine
        (Tunisia) has agreed to exclude grazing from a 10,000 ha area. This is
        the first time in the history of the country that a test is being conducted
        to illustrate the effect of rest in a collective or tribal ownership of
        rangelands.

        In Mauritania this current project of the Sustainable Management of the
        Agro-Pastoral Resource Base in the Maghreb came very close to be
        the first to test the implementation of the Pastoral Code in the country.
        The site was selected and all necessary contacts were made.
        Unfortunaley, the last push was not yet made.

        Morocco seems to be taking the lead toward testing a range
        management scheme. All necessary steps were completed with full
        paticipation of the local community:
           o Rangeland condition map
           o Existing water resources map
           o Community grazing parcell map
           o Rangeland rested areas map




Sustainable Management of the Agro-Pastoral Resource Base in the Maghreb         18
        At the present time a tentative plan is almost ready to be tested. A
        workshop with the local community is scheduled to take place during
        the month of October to discuss its applicability.

        As mentioned earlier in Libya there are numerous positive impacts for
        testing the effect of range rest using enclosures. The effect can be be
        seen on the ground (higher vegetative cover, improved water
        infiltration, and reduced runoff) and on the local people (people are
        trying this technique on their own without any governomental
        incentive).

One must say that designing and implementing a range management
scheme is rather a challenging task especially when dealing with collective
rangelands. Nevertheless, several key steps have been made to move
forward.

All participating countries indicated that the time frame and the budget
allocated through this phase II of the sustainable management of the agro-
pastoral resource base in the Maghreb were not enough to complete this very
important task.

The long term objective would be to progressively bring up the cooperative to
an independent management unit. This can be achieved in 3 main steps
planned and carried out wil full participation of the rural community:

        The first step is devoted to gathering information, assessing the
        rangeland potential and to preparing base maps. This phase was
        completed by several countries during this phase II of the project.

        In the second step, based on the work entailed in the first phase, an
        ideal rangeland management scheme is created. The scheme
        organise the rangelands into grazing areas on which a planned grazing
        pattern could be practiced (taking into consideration the timing and
        intensity of grazing). Grazing areas do not have to be fenced. Using
        natural boundaries (roads, oueds, rocks) would work too. Morocco is
        close to complete this second step.

        In the third and final step, the concerned parties gradually implement
        the plan and at the same time build-up an exit strategy to guarantee
        continuity after the project life. The pastoral cooperatives should be
        able to assume full respossibility and continue on their own. This step
        will be initiated once the first two steps are completed.




Sustainable Management of the Agro-Pastoral Resource Base in the Maghreb       19
5. Institutional Strengthening, Training and Networking
NARS scientists trained in the use of GIS/RS, appropriate
socioeconomic analysis and modeling tools, methods of feed
production and utilization, range rehabilitation and range and small
ruminant management. National agricultural research system and
extension divisions are significantly improved.

There is an effective link between research, extension and farmers. This has
stimulated the development and transfer of technology appropriate for agro-
pastoral areas. A clear example is demonstrated through the sustainable
management of the agro-pastoral resource base in the Maghreb where
research institutions are in direct contact with the local population. This
process has created a new paradigm, as researchers, extension personal and
the rural community are working together to alleviate the poverty.

This section summarises all workshops and trainings sessions, funded by
SDC and coordinated by ICARDA during the execution of the project. So far
5 gatherings took place. Three in Morocco, one in Algeria, and one in Tunisia
(Table 2). According to the terms of reference, one workshop dealing with
modeling should have been organised. Unfortunately, this session has not
taken place so far for several reasons including:
        Difficulty finding a trainer: The search for a qualified modeler to conduct
        the workshop was initiated somewhat late
        The right canditates were not available when needed
        The level of skill of each country was drastically different. Several
        countries had candidates who had adequate background for advanced
        training but others lacked the background

Nevertheless, currently Morocco is pursuing an option to get training locally
and Tunisia is exploring training in France (CIRAD).

The last regional workshop will be held in Oujda Morocco during the last week
of November 2005 where research results will be presented.




Sustainable Management of the Agro-Pastoral Resource Base in the Maghreb        20
Table 2. SDC funded workshops and annual meetings for the Maghreb
countries.

     Type              Place              Date             Theme        Participating
                                                                          countries
 1st Annual      Settat –           06-09 April        Start up        Algeria
 Meeting &       Morocco            2003               training        Mauritania
 Workshop                                                              Morocco
                                                                       Tunisia
 Workshop        Oujda-             15-22              Moroccan        Algeria
                 Morocco            September          experience      Libya
                                    2003                               Morocco
 Workshop        Oujda-             16-25              SIG/RS          Algeria
                 Morocco            December                           Mauritania
                                    2003                               Morocco
                                                                       Tunisia
 2nd Annual      Tataouine-         15 – 22            Participatory   Algeria
 Meeting &       Tunisia            February 2004      approach        Libya
 Workshop                                                              Mauritania
                                                                       Morocco
                                                                       Tunisia
 3rd Annual      Tebessa –          07-12,             Project         Algeria
 Meeting &       Algeria            February 2005      progress      & Libya
                                                       Next year plan Mauritania
                                                                       Morocco
                                                                       Tunisia

                           Planned/Potential future workshops

 Regional        Oujda-             21-25              Final               Algeria
 Conference      Morocco            November           workshop            Libya
                                    2005                                   Mauritania
                                                                           Morocco
                                                                           Tunisia
 Modeling        TBA                TBA                Modeling            Algeria
 Workshop                                              techniques          Morocco
                                                                           Tunisia


The two main learning and educational workshops were
        The GIS/RS session: This workshop was organized and conducted by
        the Oujda Regional Center of INRA Morocco which is considered as a
        center of excellence in the area of rangeland inventory, monitoring and
        mapping using GIS/RS technologies.
        The participatory approach in range management session: This
        workshop was organized and conducted by the Tunisian project team
        which has developed exceptional skills on the use of participatory tools
        for the sustainable management of the agro-pastoral resource through
        the M&M project.




Sustainable Management of the Agro-Pastoral Resource Base in the Maghreb                21
Participating members in these sessions felt that much was accomplished.
There was consensus among NARS scientists that the knowledge acquired
and the professional contacts made during these training opportunities were
one of the main outcomes of this project. They believe that the information
gained during these workshops and professional cooperation will last beyond
the project and will strengthen ties among the Maghreb countries.

Furthermore, these skills will be used in their respective countries to serve
other projects, government activities and even to train others NARS scientists.

Both Morocco and Tunisia have also developed and tested the use of feed
blocks in animal nutrition. Now they are spreading this know-how to local
farmers.

In addition, Several training activities were undertaken outside the SDC
funded ones; just to list a few see table 3.

Table 3. Additional trainings that benefited NARS scientists.


  Country           Name                Period             Location              Theme
   Algeria      Kanoun            6 months in          France              Participatory
                Mohamed           1993                                     approach
 Mauritania Cheikh MBodj          8 months 2002        Italy               RS/GIS

                Cheikh MBodj      6 months 2005        Niger               RS/GIS

  Morocco       Bou Ayed          3 months in          France              Multi-disciplinary /
                Abdallh           2004                                     participatory
                                                                           approach

   Tunisia      Azaiez Ouled      15 – 29 Dec,         ICARDA –Syria       RS/GIS
                Belgacem          2003

                Azaiez Ouled      25 April – 01        Rhodes-Greece       Rangeland
                Belgacem          May 2004                                 Ecology &
                                                                           Management
                                                                           Use of GIS in
                                                                           plant cover
                                                                           degradation




Sustainable Management of the Agro-Pastoral Resource Base in the Maghreb                    22
Involvement and collaboration with ongoing projects

The involvement and collaboration of the sustainable management of the
agro-pastoral resource base in the Maghreb has resulted in mutual benefit
with ongoing research and development projects. Bellow is a list of
collaborating institutions and projects:


Algeria
FLDDPS                           Projet de Lutte contre la Désertification et de
                                 Développement du Pastoralisme de la Steppe

INRAA                            Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique de
                                 l’Algerie

HCDS                             Haut Commissariat pour le Développement de la
                                 steppe

ITGC                             Institut Technique des Grandes Cultures

IFAD                             Development of integrated crop-livestock
                                 production in low rainfall areas of Mashreq and
                                 Maghreb (M&M)


Libya
Vegetation cover development project of Jabal Al Akhdar
                         Water harvesting techniques
                         Trees and shrub plantation

South of Jabal Al Akhdar grazing project
                          Create water points
                          Protected area (enclosures) through involvement
                          of the local community

Mapping of natural resources for agriculture use and planning projects
                          (FAO - Lib04)
                          Mapping land cover, soil classification, land and
                          water resources, and climate

ARC                              Agricultural Research Center

IFAD                             Development of integrated crop-livestock
                                 production in low rainfall areas of Mashreq and
                                 Maghreb (M&M)




Sustainable Management of the Agro-Pastoral Resource Base in the Maghreb           23
Mauritania
PADEL                            Rangeland management project and animal
                                 husbandry development project
                                 Reforestation, shrub plantation and soil and water
                                 conservation

Service Agro-meteorology Socio-economical survey
                         Database building and analysis
                         GIS and RS

DRFV                             Coordination and administrative aspects

CNERV                            Animal husbandry, research and veterinary

MDRE                             Ministry of Environment and Rural Development
                                 The Directorate of Research, Training and
                                 Extension


Morocco
PDPEO                            The Rangelands and Livestock Development
                                 Project in Eastern Morocco (Animal husbandry)

IFPRI                            Empowering the rural poor under volatile policy
                                 environment
                                 A model for empowerment of the rural poor

IFAD                             Development of integrated crop-livestock
                                 production in low rainfall areas of Mashreq and
                                 Maghreb (M&M)

IFAD                             Projet de Développement rurale de Taouret &
                                 Taforalt
                                 Agriculture

INRAM                            Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique du
                                 Maroc

Direction de l’Elevage           Ministry of Agriculture

CRRA                             Centre Régional de la Recherche Agronomique
                                 (Morocco)




Sustainable Management of the Agro-Pastoral Resource Base in the Maghreb           24
Tunisia
PRODESUD                         Agro-pastoral development and promoting local
                                 initiatives of South-East of Tunisia

IFPRI                            Empowering the rural poor under volatile policy
                                 environment
                                 A model for empowerment of the rural poor

IFAD                             Development of integrated crop-livestock
                                 production in low rainfall areas of Mashreq and
                                 Maghreb (M&M)

INRAT                            Institut National de la recherché Agronomique de
                                 Tunisie

IRA                              Institut des Régions Arides

OEP                              Office de l’Elevage et des Pâturages




Sustainable Management of the Agro-Pastoral Resource Base in the Maghreb           25
EVALUATION OF EACH COUNTRY PROGRESS
TOWARD WORKPLAN


1. Algeria Workplan

Principal contacts


        Redjel Nour El Dine, HCDS                (National Coordinator)
        Kanoun Mohamed, INRA
        Meguellati Amel, INRA
        Sbaa Sadjia, ITGC
        Bellahrache Ahmed, INRA
        El-Bouyahiaoui Rachid, ITELV


Site: Lahmad, Tébessa
Area: 182 500 Ha




Sustainable Management of the Agro-Pastoral Resource Base in the Maghreb   26
Six themes were investigated during the course of this project (Table 4). They
described the agro-pastoral territory and its mode of use. The headings of the
first five themes had been slightly modified in their wording. The last theme
which was supposed to create a bio-economical model has changed to a
broader topic. This is in part due to the fact that the modeling workshop has
not taken place.

Table 4. Themes included in the Algerian workplan.


Theme               Original Workplan                       Workplan as amended


           Characterization and functioning            Characterization and functioning
   1       of the local communities of the             of the local communities of
           study area                                  Lahmad (Thlidjène-Algeria)


           Study of the mode of utilization            Livestock system and mode of
   2       and management of natural                   utilization of rangeland in the
           resources                                   Lahmad zone


           Study of the land cultivation in            Land cultivation in the Lahmad
   3       the study area                              zone: An unavoidable
                                                       agricultural product


           Study of natural resources                  Evaluation of the agro-pastoral
   4       degradation in the study area               vegetation dynamics in Lahmad
                                                       zone


           Evaluation of current                       The region of Lahmad
           management options on                       (Tébessa):
   5
           sustainable agro-pastoral                   An area in mutation
           resources


           Defining a sustainable natural              Algerian experience in rangeland
           resource model for the study                resources
   6
           area




Sustainable Management of the Agro-Pastoral Resource Base in the Maghreb                 27
Theme 1: Characterization and functioning of the local communities of
the Lahmad (Thlidjène-Algeria)
Prior to this project no specific statistical data were available for the pilot site.
Therefore, to complete this task a survey was conducted in 2004 involving full
participation of the local community. The region of Lahmad is occupied by
the N’Mamcha tribe. There are three principal communities that share the
agro-pastoral space: Ouled Mahboub, Z’rama and Ouled H’mida fractions. At
least three meetings took place with each fraction. Toward the end of 2004, a
workshop was held for all three communities with participation of local
authorities and institutions.
The results of the survey has also revealed several interesting characteristics
of the region of Lahmad including:
        The population density is relatively low (4 habitants/km2)
        On average each household has 10 members including 7 children
        The unemployment rate is quite high (39%)
        The area is predominantly rangelands (Table 5)
        Agriculture represents the major source of income (47%)
        Sheep production remains the major activity and the main source of
        income for most members.
        The number of ewe par household varies from 25 for Ouled Mahboob,
        48 for Zrama, and 66 for Ouled Hmida.
        In order to have access to the rangeland one must belong to one of
        these three social structures (fractions).
Furthermore, this process have generated for the first time several thematic
maps for the region of Lahmad including:
        Socio-territorial map: the boundary limit of each fraction was delineated
        using a hand-held GPS unit. This map served as a base.
        Resource maps: this map divided the territory into designated areas
        including:
            o Collective grazing areas
            o Cultivation areas
            o Improved areas (range rest, Atriplex plantations)
            o Water resources (wells, dams, …)
        Livestock movement within the zone map (semi-transhumant)

Table 5: Distribution of the total surface area (ha) and its contribution to
livestock (FU/ha/year).

                                   Area            %              FU       %
 Rangelands
                                 126,231           97        7,573,860     47
 Agriculture
                                  4,370            3         8,519,436     53
 (barley, hay, straw, …)
           Total                 160,601          100        16,093,296    100



Sustainable Management of the Agro-Pastoral Resource Base in the Maghreb           28
Theme 2: Livestock system and mode of utilization of rangeland in the
Lahmad zone
The use of rangeland depends mainly on the availability of forage which
forces herders to practice a semi-transhumant livestock system. The
disruption of the traditional grazing system “nomadic” lead to more pressure
on the rangeland. Historically the livestock spent between 6 to 8 months (fall
and winter) in the south part of the study area. Because of lack of security
during the past decade this mode of grazing was disrupted. Just recently
people have begun going back to their lands which has resulted in an
increase in the number of animals on the rangeland. However, the traditional
system of natural resource management and use has been abandoned.
Clearly there has been a change in the management from purely pastoral
system to an agro-pastoral use of the resources. Although the contribution of
rangeland to livestock nutrition is in decline and actually it is inferior when
compared to the contribution of agriculture products (Table 5), the number of
animals is expected to rise each year. The contribution of all the existing
resources in the region can only cover 41% of the livestock need. A major
part of the deficit is covered through feed acquisition such as barley,
concentrate feed, and hay. To alleviate this deficit, the government through
the HCDS has intervened to improve several degraded areas either through
range rest or shrub plantations.

Theme 3: Land cultivation in the Lahmad zone: an unavoidable
agricultural product
Livestock production plays an important socio and economical role in the local
communities of Lahmad. However, the contribution of rangeland does not
meet the minimum requirement of sheep growers.

For this reason land cultivation (wheat and barley) present an alternative to fix
this nutritional deficit caused by an advanced state of land degradation.
Unfortunately, when practiced outside restricted potential areas in addition to
the use of mechanical tools all these factors become components of
rangeland degradation. In particular cultivated areas are more susceptible to
water erosion (Figure 8).




Figure 8: Impact of land cultivation on rangelands, Lahmad - Algeria.



Sustainable Management of the Agro-Pastoral Resource Base in the Maghreb       29
The results of this study indicate that the Lahmad zone has two main cereal
areas: Faydjètes of Abdelmalek and Ouled Bouyahia. On average 24 ha are
cultivated among which 75% are in barley. Their production is low and is
estimated at 700 and 1100 Kg/ha for the wheat and barley, respectively
(Figure 9).




Figure 9. Cereal cultivation, Lahmad - Algeria.


During my field visit, I interviewed one farmer who mentioned to me that his
father used to cultivate 2 to 6 ha in cereals. Now this number has exceeded
20 ha. Most farmers/pastoralists are aware of the detrimental effect of
converting rangelands into cereals especially when using mechanical tools.
Unless, they have access to other alternatives to meet the nutritional need of
their livestock the trend will continue to worsen over time.
One last step to complete this theme is to map the cultivated areas and
monitor its evolution over time. It is unlikely that this step will be completed
before the end of the project.



Theme 4: Evaluation of the agro-pastoral vegetation dynamics in
Lahmad zone
Several morphological, climatic, and human factors have contributed to low
vegetative cover (hardly exceeding 25%) in the areas investigated. The
methodology adopted to evaluate the agro-pastoral vegetation dynamics rely
on the use of remote sensing data (Alsta1 and ETM+). Several images were
acquired during the same season to calculate vegetation indices. Since I
have not met the individual who generated these maps, nor seen these maps
in person, it is difficult to evaluate how effective these techniques have been
or how reliable the results are. In addition an accuracy assessment of these
maps needs to be performed using ground truthing data to determine
reliability of these results.




Sustainable Management of the Agro-Pastoral Resource Base in the Maghreb           30
Theme 5: The region of Lahmad: an area in mutation
Preliminary results show a steady deterioration of natural resources in the
area. Recurrent drought and the practice of livestock grazing systems that
are incompatible with natural resource potential of the area are considered to
be the main causes for land degradation.
Through the HCDS, the government has carried out several actions. Most of
these actions were implemented within the Ouled Hmida fraction. When
these interventions first started, the local communities were not in favor of
such actions. This was mainly due to the decrease of open rangeland to
grazing and the limited mobility for livestock across the landscape. Once fully
established, these improved areas become available to grazing. The grazing
period last approximately 3 months during the fall to winter months (15 Oct –
15 Jan). The grazing fee is estimated at 2,000 AD/head (28 US $/head).
Depending on the year, a carrying capacity ranging from 6 to 12 heads/ha is
adopted.
In the original workplan this theme included building a database and
generating a map to monitor and manage development efforts. Several
techniques are being implemented, in particular shrub plantations (Figure 10)
and water conservation techniques (Figure 11). It would be desirable if each
managed perimeter could be delimited using a handheld GPS unit. This
would give an idea of where these actions are taking place. In addition it
would be easy to measure the total area that has been improved. This action
has not been performed, primarily due to the lack of adequate funding.




Figure 10. Shrub plantation (Atriplex spp.), Lahmad - Algeria.




Figure 11. Water and soil conservation techniques, Lahmad - Algeria.


Sustainable Management of the Agro-Pastoral Resource Base in the Maghreb     31
Theme 6: Algerian experience in rangeland resources

As mentioned earlier, this last theme has replaced the modeling one. When
considering the efforts undertaken by the HCDS Tébessa in Lahmad, there is
a lot to be said in this regard. A detailed description should be ready before
the final conference.




Sustainable Management of the Agro-Pastoral Resource Base in the Maghreb    32
2. Libya Workplan

Principal contacts

        Hassen Eswaihel Estaita, ARC (National Coordinator)
        Adanan Sbeita, ARC
        Belgasem El Jarred, University of Marj
        Sliman Raheel, Project Director of Jabal Al Akhdar
        Mansour Chaaban, Libyan Center for Remote Sensing & Space
        Science

Site: Jabal Al Akhdar
Area: 90 000 Ha




Sustainable Management of the Agro-Pastoral Resource Base in the Maghreb   33
The Libyan workplan includes 5 themes which have a lot in common with the
terms of reference (Table 6).

Table 6. Themes included in the Libyan workplan.


   Theme                                        Workplan

                Stockholders meetings and workshops
       1
                Rangeland resource identification and mapping using GIS and
       2        RS techniques

                Effect of current land use on rangeland deterioration
       3
                Local population strategies of natural resources use
       4

                Effects of enclosures on rangeland improvement and
       5        rehabilitation



Theme 1: Stockholders meetings and workshops

The purpose of this first theme was to involve the local community in the
decision making process whenever possible. This is key to the success of
improving and managing the agro-pastoral resources.

This activity started somewhat late mainly because Libya was not fully
engaged in the Sustainable Management of the Agro-Pastoral Resource Base
in the Maghreb project from the beginning. Therefore not much had taken
place in 2003. During 2004 a survey was conducted in collaboration with
scientist from Omar Mokhtar University including a questionnaire that was
completed by over 100 people and lasted over one month. This was an
opportunity for the team to involve the local community and to present the
project’s objectives.

During 2005, several meetings took place:
      April 2005: two members from the Tunisian team spent a few days at
      the perimeter site monitoring the impact of enclosures and at the same
      time interacting with the local community.
      May 2005: field visit of Dr. Mohamed El Mourid (ICARDA Regional
      Coordinator for North Africa – Tunis) and Dr. Samir Ahmed El-Sebaee
      (ICARDA Director of Human Resource Development – Syria)
        June 2005: a local workshop involving over 150 participants was held
        in presence of all concerned parties. During which project objectives
        were discussed in detail and several recommendations from the local
        community were recorded.


Sustainable Management of the Agro-Pastoral Resource Base in the Maghreb        34
Theme 2: Rangeland resources identifications and mapping using GIS
and RS techniques

The methodology adopted for this second theme relies heavily on the use of
GIS and RS technology. The Libyan Center for Remote Sensing and Space
Science in Tripoli is responsible for generating the necessary maps. Already
several base maps that cover the desired area of Jabal Al Akhdar exist
including contours, drainage, geology, and roads. Several key maps remain
to be generated, in particular:
        Fraction/community map
        Rangeland types by fraction
        Cultivated area map
        Water resources map
        Land tenure map

The fraction/community map was considered somewhat sensitive. Thus, it
requires building more trust with the local community through more frequent
contacts over a longer period of time. Given the limited time left in the project
and the amount of field and office work needed to collect, process, and
validate the results, it is too difficult to complete such task.

Theme 3: Effect of current land use on rangeland deterioration

The effect of current land use on rangeland deterioration was assessed using
remote sensing techniques. The intention was to compare a 2002 LandSat
scene to a 1990 scene. The data acquisition and image analysis is currently
being conducted by the Libyan center of remote sensing and space science.
The 2002 LandSat scene has been already processed. This work was
undertaken in part by an existing FAO project that covers the whole country.
Its primary mission was to map natural resources for agriculture use and
planning (FAO Lib04). The scale of the output is 1:10 000.

Now the center is in the process of validating the 2002 scene and processing
the 1990 scene. Once completed, a time change analysis will be performed
to assess rangeland degradation over time.

Since I have not had the opportunity to discuss this matter with the GIS
specialist nor seen the processed image, it is difficult to judge its merit. My
concern is whether there are field data to validate the accuracy of the 1990
processed image.




Sustainable Management of the Agro-Pastoral Resource Base in the Maghreb          35
Theme 4: Local Population Strategies of natural resources use

The information on local population strategies was collected through personal
communications and the questionnaire which took place in 2004. The
questionnaire contained 55 enquiries and was presented to 105 pastoralists.
Some of the main outputs are presented below:

    The average age of the people interviewed was 43.6 years (ranging from
    21 to 85). Their occupation was as follow:
       o 31% public employees
       o 27% pastoralists
       o 17% business men
       o 14% retirees
       o 7% farmers
    On average each member own:
       o Sheep: 149 head
       o Goat: 32 head
       o Cattle: 4 head
       o Camel: 13 head

Depending on the year, the use of rangeland can vary from 2 to 12 months.
During feed shortage 95 % of the herders supplement their livestock. The
feed comes in the form of barley, hay, and concentrated feed. Most of it
(80%) is bought from local markets. Women participate actively in the farming
practices (65%) mostly in, feeding, watering, and managing livestock grazing
patterns.

The local community suggested several significant suggestions to reverse the
trend of rangeland degradation. They included:
        Stopping the heavy (continuous) grazing
        Prohibiting rangeland cultivation
        Implementing of rotational grazing
        Reseeding of rangeland
        Providing supplementation at reduced cost

The information needed to complete this theme is available. The next step
would be to perform some analytical (statistical) analysis using specialised
statistical software. This should be completed before the final conference.




Sustainable Management of the Agro-Pastoral Resource Base in the Maghreb       36
Theme 5: Effects of enclosures on rangeland improvement and
rehabilitation

Several enclosures have been constructed on the pilot site for different
periods of time. The impact of no livestock grazing on vegetation cover was
conducted last spring (April 2005) by two members from the Tunisian NARS
scientists.


Objective
The main objective of this study was to describe soil and vegetation
characteristics in relation to two factors:
        Aridity gradient
            o North: where climatic and soil conditions are favourable
            o South: where conditions are drier and more fragile
        Management techniques
            o Overgrazed (degraded)
            o Protected (enclosures)


Methodology

The study area was located in the south of Jabal Al Akhdar between Taknes
and Mrawa from the North and Kharrouba and Therwa from the south. Based
on the climatic and the soil conditions, the area was divided into three
geographical units: north, center, and south. In each geographical unit, a
representative grazed site was selected for plant cover parameter
assessment:
        North: Madwar Zitoun
        Central: Boughessal, and
        South: Thahr Etteer

To study the impact of continuous grazing two areas were protected for 3
years (one in the north and the other one in the south).

At the level of each selected site, two 20-m long transects were established.
The measurements collected along each transect included soil surface
condition, total plant cover, flora richness, and plant density. The point
sampling method as described by Daget and Poissonet (1971) was used.
Also, plant density per m² was determined within two 20 m² area quadrats.




Sustainable Management of the Agro-Pastoral Resource Base in the Maghreb        37
The main findings are indicated below:

Soil surface condition
       Soil surface covered by litter was more important in the protected sites
       (35 - 40%) as compared to grazed areas (only 5 %).
       Protected sites had higher crust percentage. Yet the importance of
       crust presence declined from 50 to 96 % respectively from the north to
       the south (drier).
       Management implications: Crust may constitute a handicap to water
       infiltration as well as plants germination. Therefore, protection from
       grazing for long period may have negative effect on soil and plant
       succession.

Total plant cover
       Protected sites had more vegetative cover (52 - 61.5%) than grazed
       sites (10 - 40%). The majority of plant material was composed of
       annual species which depend more on annual precipitation.
       The north site which is more humid had higher vegetative cover.

Flora richness
       In the most humid site (Madwar Zitoun), the presence of certain
       species of high range value such as Dactylis glomerata was only
       recorded in the protected area.
       In the grazed areas, annuals which are more linked to the annual
       rainfall, dominated the site.
       Overall results suggested that rangeland protection from livestock
       grazing can save more that 50% of the endangered perennial species.

Plant density
      The impact of protection was beneficial to plant density and mainly
      perennial species.
      This positive impact was also more visible in the northern and more
      humid site than in the drier site.
      Some species such as Digitaria commutata and Anabasis articulata
      were found even in the grazed sites. However, their density was low
      which may indicate that palatable species were the most overgrazed.
      Density of annual species was also important as due to the favorable
      climatic conditions of the year, yet it was higher in the grazed sites.

The results of this trial will be used for extension purposes for pastoralists and
local people, primarily to emphasize the importance of range rest. Although
my field visit to the site was not during the growing season, when most annual
plant species are flourishing, from Figure 12, one can notice the distinct
contrast between the vegetative cover inside the enclosure and outside which
is open to grazing. Convinced of the positive effect of such technique, one
pastoralist adjacent to the project zone has excluded grazing from part of his


Sustainable Management of the Agro-Pastoral Resource Base in the Maghreb        38
grazing land. He is already witnessing a noticeable higher vegetative cover
inside the protected area than outside.




Figure 12. The right side of the fence (enclosure) has more vegetative cover
than the left side (open to grazing), Jabal Al Akhdar - Libya.




Sustainable Management of the Agro-Pastoral Resource Base in the Maghreb       39
3. Mauritania Workplan

Principal contacts

        Tall Amadou, PADEL       (National coordinator)
        Dah Ould Zerrough, DRFV
        Abderhamane Ould Ahmed Sidat, DRFV
        Yeli Gandega, Service Agro-Meterologic
        Cheick Mbodj, Service Agro-Meterologic


Site: Moit and Bokhol
Area: 420 000 ha




Sustainable Management of the Agro-Pastoral Resource Base in the Maghreb   40
The original workplan as submitted by the Mauritanian team was too
ambitious. Therefore, over the course of the project it has been modified by
reducing some activities (Table 7). Nevertheless, not much has been
accomplished in terms of action on the ground. Based on my discussion with
the newly appointed (since February 2005) national coordinator Dr. Tall
Amadou several factors have contributed to this delay in particular:
       The departure of the national coordinator
       The data collected by the first national coordinator was not transferred
       to the new coordinator
       The GIS person in charge of the image analysis was out of the country
       Transportation is a serious constraint. This is serious as the pilot
       community is remote and access generally requires 4-wheel drive.
       During the rainy season roads are muddy and not inaccessible for
       several days
       The government departments face frequent changes and restructuring
       Communication is difficult with limited mobile coverage and poor email,
       fax and mail service.

Table 7. Themes included in the Mauritanian workplan.

     Theme                                       Activities
                   Preparatory activities
                   - Bibliography
                   - Sites selection
                   - Conduct rapid survey with the local community
        1
                   - Plan activities to be conducted in the rangelands
                   - Prioritize activities with the target community
                   - Conduct agro-pastoral inventory
                   - Discuss project objectives with the local community
                   Rangeland rehabilitation and management
                   - Selection of rest areas
        2
                   - Training of plant nursery
                   - Range improvement techniques
                   Water and soil conservation
        3
                   - Construction of water and soil conservation
                   Land use mapping
                   - RS data (LandSat image) acquisition
        4
                   - Image analysis and processing
                   - Generate maps and reports
                   Rangeland monitoring
        5          - Vegetation dynamics
                   - Measuring rangeland productivity
                   Results valorisation
                   - National workshop
                   - Field visits
        6
                   - Experience exchange
                   - Training
                   - Scientific publication
                   Evaluation
                   - Survey
        7
                   - Half-way report
                   - Final report

Sustainable Management of the Agro-Pastoral Resource Base in the Maghreb     41
According to Dr. Tall Amadou most of these activities will be completed on
time. In my opinion, this effort would be quite challenging.

Before my departure to Mauritania I had a tentative schedule. My arranged
plan was to go over the terms of reference and the workplan during the first
day of my visit (Sunday). The second day would be a field visit to the Moit
and Bokhol rural communities. I would then wrap up my visit on my third day.
Unfortunately, none of the Mauritanian team was available to meet me on my
first day. I was later informed that Mr. Dah Ould Zerrough was not even
informed of my visit.

Below is a summary of what I was able to gather through the few contacts I
made during my visit and from previous trip reports about what has been
accomplished so far:


July 19 - 24, 2003               Visit of Dr. Mohamed El Mourid
                                 (ICARDA North Africa Regional Coordinator -
                                 Tunis)

        The first field visit to the site took place on July 21st. The primary
        objective was to make initial contacts with the local authorities and rural
        community, and get the project started.

August 17 - 22 2003              Second field visit by the national team

        Conducted a rapid survey about the agro-pastoral ecosystem and the
        Moit and Bokhol social structure using participatory methods (20
        members representing both communities attended this exercise). The
        team was able to extract potentiality and difficulties related to the target
        zone. Prioritized these difficulties and drew a map in concession with
        the community showing various ethnic groups and villages.

August 19-25 2004                Visit of Dr. James Tiedeman
                                 (ICARDA Project Coordinator - Syria)

        Met with officials in the pilot area and in Nouakchott.
        The secretary of the cooperative called a meeting at Jatol with the
        community representatives of the two collectives Moit and Bokhol. The
        participants discussed their problems and possibilities for improving
        management of the rangelands.

        Met with association official’s project to discuss the possibility of
        excluding a grazing area of 7 km by 4 km from outsiders. This test
        would be the first time the new pastoral code has been implemented
        and tested in Mauritania.

        In Nouakchott Dr. Tiedeman met with PADEL project staff to discuss
        potential cooperation between the project and their new draft
        agreement with ICARDA.

Sustainable Management of the Agro-Pastoral Resource Base in the Maghreb          42
        Dr. Tiedeman also met with Service Agro-Meterologic on GIS and
        Image Analysis. They are responsible for the selection of the Satellite
        imagery and analysis of the vegetation for the pilot area and entire
        surrounding region of Gorgal.


February 2005                    Dr. Tall Amadou was appointed as a the new
                                 National Coordinator


March 10 – 15, 2005              Field visit by the national team

        Renewed contact with the concerned communities
        Met with local authorities
        Defined the role of every participating group
        Explained the new philosophy of the project
        Presented the program for 2005


27 May – 1 June, 2005            Field visit by the national team

        Met local authorities
        Elected management committee
        Planned rangeland rehabilitation
        Planned future interventions
               - Mapping the target zone
               - Conducting socio-economic surveys (for this purpose a
                 questionnaire has been designed)

Site selection
The total cooperative area that includes grazing and farmland is about 40 x 30
km. An overlapping area of common grazing, including both the Moit and the
Bokhol communities, is the focus area of the project. It covers an area of 7 x
4 km in size (2800 ha). In Mauritania and with the exception of vital areas, the
new pastoral code declared all rangeland as free access, open to everyone.
In the past, tribal groups used to be able to restrict use somewhat but not
anymore.




Sustainable Management of the Agro-Pastoral Resource Base in the Maghreb      43
Main concerns of the local communities
They listed lack of water as the most serious problem, then inadequate
grazing management, livestock health and finally crop problems on the
agriculture land that lies within the cooperative area.

These concerns can easily be met through joint cooperation with the
rangeland management and development of livestock project (PADEL). The
types of developments undertaken by PADEL that would benefit the Moit and
Bokhol rural communities include:

        Livestock medicinal treatment facility
        Small veterinary pharmacy
        Water pond and lake improvement for a) community and b) livestock
        water
        Shrub plantations
        Training
        Range rest demonstration areas

Accomplishment to date
During my visit to the Agro-Meterologic Service, I witnessed a noticeable
progress toward assessing land degradation using RS techniques. Two
LandSat scenes taken in October 2002 were acquired and are being
analyzed. Preliminary unsupervised classification and vegetation indices
(NDVI) show satisfactory results. These results remain to be validated
through ground truthing.

Through PADEL two sites had been treated against water erosion and 3 sites
have been regenerated (trees and shrubs plantations).

Also a questionnaire model has been built and is ready to be used to collect
more detailed information about the rural community (socio-economical) as
well as rangeland types (ecological).




Sustainable Management of the Agro-Pastoral Resource Base in the Maghreb       44
4. Morocco Workplan


Principal contacts

        Abdesselem Maatougui INRA-Oujda (National Coordinator)
        Abdellah Bouayad, INRA-Oujda
        Abdelmajid Bechchari, INRA-Oujda
        Hamid Mahyou, INRA-Oujda
        Jabeur Abdelaziz, newly appointed Regional Director INRA-Oujda
        Mohamed Acherkouk, INRA-Oujda
        Mohamed El Koudrim, INRA-Oujda



Site: Maâtarka - Tendrara rural communities
Area: 1 300 000 ha




Sustainable Management of the Agro-Pastoral Resource Base in the Maghreb   45
The Moroccan workplan encompasses 4 themes (Table 8). Although the
heading of the first three themes have been slightly reworded, their content
remains the same as indicated in the original workplan. The last theme,
which was designed to produce an optimization model, has been modified to
a more qualitative description of the pastoral cooperatives.

Table 8. Themes included in the Moroccan workplan.


  Theme             Original workplan                          Final workplan

              Land cultivation a factor for rangeland degradation: State,
      1
              dynamics, and impact on the pastoral system


      2       Study of the rangelands degradation in the Maâtarka zone


              Study of the pastoral water points management in the rural
      3
              commune of Maâtarka


              Optimization of the agro              Pastoral cooperatives of
              pastoral resources uses:              Tendrara Maâtarka: Toward a
      4
              Case study of the Tendrara            sustainable natural resources
              rural community                       management




Sustainable Management of the Agro-Pastoral Resource Base in the Maghreb            46
Theme 1: Land cultivation a factor for rangeland degradation: State,
dynamics, and impact on the pastoral system

This theme was selected based on findings from Phase I of the “Sustainable
Management of the Agro-Pastoral Resource Base in the Oujda Region
project which covered an adjacent pilot site Ain Bni Mathar. Within this
region, 18% of the total rangeland was converted to cropland (25 760 ha).
This represents a 14% increase compared to data collected in the sixties.

Objectives
Fragile ecosystems, such as already degraded rangeland, when converted to
cereals could cross a threshold that pushes degradation to a non reversible
status. The purposes of this study were to:
        Delineate cultivated areas in the Tendrara-Maatarka area,
        Study their impact,
        Create a database on the encroachment of agricultural practices into
        traditional rangeland in the pilot zone.

Methodology

To achieve the desired objectives three techniques were deployed:
        Inventorying these areas with the assistance of the local community,
        Characterizing this phenomenon by conducting surveys and transects
        with the participation of the local community,
        Using remote sensing and GIS technologies to map these areas and
        monitor their growth over time.


Several consequences of encroachment of agricultural practices into
traditional rangeland in the pilot zone in particular are:

        Rangeland degradation
        - Vegetative cover
        - Soil erosion
        - Loss of water resources
        Lifestyle transformation of the local community through sedentarization
        Conflicts within the same community and between other fractions. The
        fact that neighboring herders cannot cross the land being cultivated will
        shrink the grazing land.




Sustainable Management of the Agro-Pastoral Resource Base in the Maghreb       47
Importance of rangeland cultivation in the Tendrara-Maatarka area
The overall percentage of rangeland being cultivated is estimated at 1.5%
(ranging from 0 to 16% ). The low percentage of rangeland cultivation is due
mainly to two main reasons:
        Water resources
        - Extended drought
        - Lack of water points
        Soil properties
        - Uneven soil surface
        - Poor soil quality
The survey indicated that the importance of land cultivation varies from one
fraction to another. This practice generally takes place near the “Oueds”.
The main species cultivated are barley, oats and wheat. The production
hardly exceeds 500 kg/ha. During bad years (low rainfall) grazing barley
fields in winter is a common practice. Pastoralists who raise cattle seem to
have strong positive correlation with the number of hectares being cultivated.

Change over time of cultivated areas in the Tendrara-Maatarka area
The project has tried to estimate the trend in rangeland cultivation by
comparing the current situation to previous studies (1970 and 1989). Findings
show that cultivated areas have expanded by more than 5 times since the end
of the seventies. Until 1989 the rate of increase was 0.04% per year and then
dropped to 0.025% (Table 9). This reduction could be attributed to two main
factors:
        The beginning of the PDPEO project, and
        The creation of large rest areas which reduced rangeland cultivation
        possibilities.


Table 9. Change over time of the rangeland cultivation.

              Year                     1970                 1989           2003

           Area (ha)                   3800                 17000          20137

            Rate (%)                    0.3                  1. 3           1.5


Using RS/GIS technologies to map rangeland cultivation
The project has acquired two LandSat TM scenes. The first one was taken in
1988 and the other one in 2003. Once these two scenes were classified, a
time change analysis was performed. Unfortunately, the results of the
analysis were not convincing. This is primarily due to the fact that very little
area has been cultivated in the perimeter site. Nevertheless, the GIS aspect
(spatial analysis) made the results more evident. Especially, when overlying
the transect’s data (vector files collected with a GPS unit) over the study area.


Sustainable Management of the Agro-Pastoral Resource Base in the Maghreb           48
Theme 2: Study of rangelands degradation in the Maâtarka zone
Several causes have been attributed to rangeland degradation in the Oriental
region of Morocco. A recent study conducted by INRA in collaboration with
ICARDA (Phase I SDC “Oujda Project”) in the rural community of Beni Mathar
found that the rangeland is degrading at a rate of 1557 ha/year along with a
steady decrease in of the main pastoral species, leading to signs of
desertification.

Objectives
The main objectives of this theme were to map the extent of rangeland
degradation and its trend over time in the Maâtarka zone, develop key
indicators for rangeland degradation, and to study its dynamic and impact on
the vegetative cover.

Methodology
The methodology relies mainly on the use of remote sensing in combination
with ground survey of ecological parameters. In particular rangeland
productivity, vegetation recovery rate, and floristic composition were
examined. These measurements were recorded during spring 2003 when
vegetation growth was at its peak. Field work included also sampling of
principal vegetation types and geo-positioned their locations using a GPS unit.

In addition, the current status of land degradation (2004) and the dynamics of
this steppic ecosystem were compared to two previous research studies:
        The first study was conducted in 1970 and concerned a rangeland
        management study of the oriental region of Morocco.
        The second one took place in 1990 and summarized findings of the
        mapping grazing rangelands project of the oriental region of Morocco.

Rangeland productivity
The effort made in the field (transects, surveys) and in the office (image
analysis of LandSat (TM) has identified eight different classes. The total
annual biomass was estimated at about 400 Kg DM / ha (Table 10).

The contribution of the different groups of species was as follow:
        Perennial graminoïdes dominated by alfa: 42%
        Perennial non graminoïdes: 22%
        Annual plants: 26%
        Woody plants: 9%




Sustainable Management of the Agro-Pastoral Resource Base in the Maghreb     49
Table 10. Biomass production (Kg DM/ha).

       Pastoral Species                 Average           Min          Max
  Atractylis serratuloïdes                15               0           220
  Noaea mucronata                            8             0           220
  Armoise                                    5             0           300
  Salsola vermiculata                        6             0           800
  Autres ligneux bas                         2             0               15
  Alfa                                     160             0           1240
  Stipa parviflora                          12             0           124
  Annuelles                                105             1           661
  Peganum harmala                           83             0           550
  Other perennial non graminoïdes           2              0            60
                Total                      398             73          1545



Global Aerial Vegetation Recovery (GAVR)
Across the landscape, the GAVR is weak. On average it is equal at 14%. It is
less than 10% in 50% of the cases and less than 36% in 4% of the cases.
Results from this study compared to previous research studies indicate that
the global aerial recovery is declining over time:
         15 - 35% in 1971, 12 - 24% in 1990, and 3 - 15% in 2004 for the Stipa
         tenacissima rangeland type
         10 - 25% in 1971, 4 -16% in 1990, and traces in 2004 for the Artemisia
         herba-alba rangeland type


Three different vegetative types dominate the pastoral landscape:
         Degraded Stipa tenacissima (GAVR: 3 - 15%)
         Peganum harmala (GAVR: 10 – 20%)
         Noaea mucronata (GAVR: < 8%)

These measurements indicate clearly that until the 1970s the soil was in
fairly good condition, capable of resisting erosion. However, the current state
is showing a dramatic decline in recovery.




Sustainable Management of the Agro-Pastoral Resource Base in the Maghreb        50
Botanical composition
Botanical composition represents another indicator of rangeland degradation.
During the seventies certain species such as Peganum harmala, Noaea
mucronata or even Atractylis humilis were very localized and did not present a
threat. In 1990 the degradation became much more apparent as these less-
desirable species began invading new territory while the more preferred
species continued to disappear (Figure 13).




Figure 13. Invasion of Peganum harmala, Maatarka-Tendrara - Morocco.

Quantitative analysis of the vegetation dynamics
Perennial vegetation samplings were measured during 2003/04. These
results were compared to previous measurements taken by Berkat and
Hamrouni in 1990 and by the Ministry of Agriculture in 1970/71. This
comparative analysis prove the dramatic decline in plant biomass. If we
hypothesize that in 1970/71 we had 100% biomass, three decades later
(2003/04) we had only 66%, a declining rate of 20% per decade. Based on
the sampling results of this project and the findings from previous
measurements taken in the Maatarka zone, this reduction in biomass has
severe consequences on rangeland productivity as indicated in table 11.

Table 11. Productivity (FU/ha) of the main rangeland types.

   Year            Rangeland Types                              Productivity
             Stipa tenacissima and
    1971                                                                   200
             Artemisia herba-alba
             Stipa tenacissima                                             250
             Stipa tenacissima                                              50
    1990     Stipa tenacissima and
                                                                           80
             Artemisia herba-alba
             Noaea mucronata                                               25
             Stipa tenacissima                                             35
    2004     Peganum harmala                                               35
             Noaea mucronata                                               5


Sustainable Management of the Agro-Pastoral Resource Base in the Maghreb         51
Because of their low palatability both Peganum harmala and Noaea
mucronata are under utilized and tend to dominate progressively the
rangeland. This trend of colonization is taking place at the expense of the
good rangeland (Stipa tenacissima and Artemisia herba-alba).
The decline in biomass production of the perennial vegetation is attributed
mainly to two factors:
        Harsh climatic conditions as insufficient rainfall, prolonged droughts,
        have always caused problems to the Tendrara-Maatarka rural
        community, and
        Overgrazing which became more intense during dry year.


In short, the rangelands of the Tendrara rural community remain in continuous
ecological disequilibrium. Its resilience seems to be seriously damaged.
Unfortunately, this trend will continue to decline as long as the livestock
system does not take into account the natural resource potential
(overgrazing), the climatic conditions do not get better (prolonged drought),
and the land tenure remains unclear (collective tenure mentality).




Sustainable Management of the Agro-Pastoral Resource Base in the Maghreb          52
Theme 3: Study of the pastoral water points management in the rural
community of Maâtarka

In arid climates, water is the most crucial factor influencing decisions and
strategies farmers/pastoralists have to take. When this resource is evenly
distributed across the landscape it alleviates the pressure of livestock
concentration on the rangeland. However, when it is lacking or partially
distributed, it can accentuate land degradation.

Objectives
The main objectives of this theme were to map existing water resources in the
Maâtarka zone, find out difficulties linked to its use, and study its impact on
vegetative cover.

Methodology
The methodology adopted consisted of:
        Using a hand-held GPS unit to map all existing permanent water
        points.
        Using RS/GIS to study the impact of water point distribution on
        vegetative cover.
        Conducting a survey with the participation of the local community to
        gather relevant information about water points management options,
        concerns, and suggestions for improvement.
Water resources Distribution
The hydrographic network of Maâtarka, in particular the active rivers and the
permanent points were mapped using hand-held GPS unit. In dry years (low
rainfall) only wells equipped with motor-pumps provide most needed water.
This water comes to farmers/pastoralists at a high price because of the
expenses associated to run the motor-pumps. During rainy years the
intermittent points (ghdirs, oueds, dayas…) cover most of the water needs.

Quality of water
The results of the survey conducted with the local community suggested that
the quality of water is good in 81% of the cases, normal in 11%, and poor
(salty) in 8%. All existing water points were being used for both human and
animal consumption.

Cost of water
The cost of water varies according to the climate and the size of the herds.
The expenses get higher during dry years and especially for large herds.
During the year 2002/03 the average cost was estimated at about 9 000 MD
(1,008 US $), ranging from 0 to 72 000 MD (0 – 8,070 US $) per household.
The cost per head and per animal was estimated at 26 MD (3 US $) during
good years and 60 MD (6.7 US $) during bad years.


Sustainable Management of the Agro-Pastoral Resource Base in the Maghreb       53
Main problems of management
The rural communities of Maâtarka were unable to manage the existing water
resources in the region. For this reason, the PDPEO project formed a new
category of cooperatives in charge of managing water resources. In order to
get it started the PDPEO administration donated 20 000 to 30 000 MD (2,240
– 3,362 US $) to each cooperative. Each cooperative appointed a guardian
and each user has to compensate for every cubic meter of water by giving 1
liter of diesel.

Several concerns related to water use and management were identified when
conducting the survey. The main ones are listed below:

        Quantity:
          o Existing water resources cannot meet the need of the local
                people and their livestock
        Quality:
            o Declining water quality
            o Increasing water depth
        Management:
            o Lack of financial resources to pay the guardian and acquire
                necessary provision to maintain motor-pump
            o Litigation (water points of Maâtarka used by Laalaouna-
                Tendrara)


Suggestions to improve water resources management
Given the above mentioned concerns, there was an urgent need to come up
with solutions. In concert with the local community of Maâtarka the following
suggestions were proposed:

        Creation of new water resources (dams, ponds, wells…etc);
        Establishment of water resource management associations;
        Equipment of these cooperatives with the necessary tools and means
        to function properly.




Sustainable Management of the Agro-Pastoral Resource Base in the Maghreb    54
Theme 4: Pastoral cooperative of Tendrara - Maâtarka

The nature of the socio-tribal society and the collective land tenure status of
the rangelands dictated the construction of ethnic-lineage cooperatives. It is a
formula which tries to tie a modern institution with a traditional social structure.

In Morocco, the cooperative union structure is a mechanism where large
areas of rangeland could be placed under management and improved as a
result of what appears to be a form of land tenure reform. For instance,
rangelands planted in shrubs or rested is officially withdrawn from common
grazing for at least two-years. Members of the pastoral cooperative can then
have access to these rehabilitated areas after paying a grazing fee. In many
circumstances, rangeland improvement occurs as a consequence to the
periods of no use (range rest). During good years this rest is always
extended because free grazing is abundant elsewhere. This scenario would
give the rested areas a longer period to recover and regenerate.

Unfortunately, nowadays several cooperatives display symptoms of
disfunctionality. This has lead to a lack of respect of the rested areas. The
situation gets even worse with the extended drought and the lack of a legal
system that penalizes these infractions.

History and description of the pastoral cooperative of Tendrara -
Maâtarka
The cooperatives of Tendrara - Maâtarka, were created in the beginning of
the PDPEO project (1988-89). Since then the number of fractions within each
cooperative remained the same (5 in Maâtarka and 4 in Tendrara).

The total number of adherents is about 4000 people, but this number varies
among cooperatives. This parameter, although interesting, is not a good
indicator to assess the efficiency of the cooperative. In fact, all the pastoral
cooperative of Tendrara - Maâtarka have been called to make purifications of
the adherent’s lists to allow access only to the true users of the rangeland.

The survey data showed a distinct contrast among all cooperatives. The main
findings are listed below:

     The number of general meetings held in the last 14 years varied between
     3 and 12.
     Some cooperatives are dominated by small size herds whereas others
     have a considerable presence of middle size herds.
     The number of actions by members varies from 1 action for the small
     herds to 10 actions for the large size herds.
     The number of actions is the only criteria to distribute goods (subsidized
     food and heath services).
     During 2003, the main sources of income were truck renting, rest areas
     fees, and livestock feed commercialization.


Sustainable Management of the Agro-Pastoral Resource Base in the Maghreb         55
     The analysis of the financial situations of the cooperatives since their
     creation revealed positive progressions of funds. The average value per
     action increased distinctly from 50 MD (5.6 US $) to more than 800 MD
     (89 US $).
     Outside areas improved, either by rest or shrub plantations, the
     cooperative doesn't have any managerial contribution over the rest of the
     cooperative’s area open to free grazing.


Promoting a pilot pastoral cooperative
The second part of the study consisted of promoting a pilot cooperative to the
point that it will be a model for the rest of cooperatives. Several criteria were
used to select a cooperative exhibiting indicators of sound management. This
process has lead to the selection of Faress cooperative. Since then, several
meetings have taken place. Initially to explain the objectives of this project.
Subsequently to identify areas of weaknesses and strengths. Lastly to come
up with suggestions for improvement.

This exercise has lead to a full diagnostic of the pastoral cooperatives.
Several difficulties were identified and suggestions were proposed to reverse
the current status.




Sustainable Management of the Agro-Pastoral Resource Base in the Maghreb       56
5. Tunisia Workplan


Principal contacts

        Nefzaoui Ali, INRAT (National Coordinator)
        Raggad Nasr, INRAT
        Ouled Belgacem Azaiez, IRA



Site: Ouled Chahida, Tataouine
Area: 130 000 ha




Sustainable Management of the Agro-Pastoral Resource Base in the Maghreb   57
The Tunisian workplan encloses 5 themes (Table 12). The first two are
almost complete. The third theme was partially treated. The last two require
sufficient modelling skills to be carried out. Several efforts are being made to
acquire the necessary skills or to get assistance from national or international
institutions (CIRAD).

Table 12. Themes included in the Tunisian workplan.


 Themes                                      Activities


              Assessment of rangeland degradation of Ouled Chéhida
     1
              STU


     2        Local population strategies of natural resources use


              Assessment of the viability of household in agro-pastoral
     3
              area


     4        Tentative modelling of rangeland degradation


              Modelling approach of the sustainability of the whole agro-
     5
              pastoral system




Sustainable Management of the Agro-Pastoral Resource Base in the Maghreb      58
Theme 1: Assessment of rangeland degradation of Ouled Chéhida socio
territorial unit (STU)

Introduction
In the absence of long term rangeland monitoring program, it is difficult to
assess rangeland degradation. However, the open access to collective
rangelands, the increase of livestock number, and the recurrent drought
cause us to believe that these natural resources are under significant stress
and are in process of degradation.

Diagnostic
Before the start of the project several problems facing rangelands located in
south Tunisia were identified and are listed below:
      Livestock is the main agricultural income and the situation may
      collapse if rational methods of management are not applied.
      Confused land tenure status, especially for collective rangelands.
      Confused right of use of rangelands (intra and inter communities
      conflicts).
      Lack of efficient and operational institutions able to participate in
      decision making for the development and the management of
      rangelands.

Strategy
In view of these problems, the project with full participation of the local
population has established some general guidelines. These guidelines would
serve as a rangeland management strategy and include:
       Delimitation of grazing lands;
       Clarification of rangeland status;
       Identification of rangeland users and modalities of access to
       rangelands;
       Organization of the local population with the intent of enabling them to
       be one of the main stakeholders in the decision-making process;
       Unification of public departments around a clear policy with respect to
       rangeland management.

Methodology
The methodology embraced relies on several methods as outlined below:
   1. An exhaustive survey was carried out in 2004 and involved all
      community members of Ouled Chehida.
    2. Collection of already existing data. Several thematic maps have either
        been generated or acquired through existing projects. Such maps
        include:
                        Social distribution (fraction and under fraction)
                        Land tenure map
                        Cropping map
Sustainable Management of the Agro-Pastoral Resource Base in the Maghreb    59
                        Vegetation map
                        Soil map
                        Water resources map especially livestock watering points
    3. Mapping rangeland degradation using Braun-Blanquet technique. At
       least 135 sampling locations were geo-positioned using GPS tools.
       This mapping was conducted with full participation of the elders (using
       participatory approach methodology).
    4. Statistical analysis of the data using Factorial Analysis of
       Correspondences (FAC).
    5. Assessment of rangeland degradation using satellite imagery.
    6. Crossing of both methods of rangeland degradation assessment and
       development of simple degradation indicators.

Survey of ecological systems and land use dynamics
Based on the statistical analysis of the sampling data and the digitizing on
screen of the RS data, 23 different plant communities (PC) were selected for
further assessment. At the level of each identified PC, three permanent
transects of 20-m length each, were established. The measurements
collected along each transect included global vegetation cover, soil surface
condition, species composition, plant density, and pastoral value. The point
sampling method as described by Daget and Poissonet (1971) was used.
The main findings are indicated below:

        Global Vegetation Cover (GVC): The vegetation of the study area
        was very sparse and scattered. It is the result of continuous
        overgrazing, leading to PC destruction, soil erosion, and progressively
        toward desertification. The vegetative cover varied from PC to another
        and ranged from 6.33% to 39.33%. The highest value (39.33%) was
        recorded in the community of Hammada schmittiana and Traganum
        nudatum. It should be noted that the GVC is lower than the critical
        threshold (20-25%) below which erosion take place (Le Houerou 1995).
        Soil surface condition: In most communities, the soil surface was
        mainly dominated by the wind veil. Its importance of the study area
        can be attributed to the regression of plant cover leading to sand
        movement. The abundance of the wind veil was found in three distinct
        areas:
                Around watering points, the regression of the plant cover leads
                to the extension of wind veils as due to animal trampling and
                human action,
                On deeper sandy formations which offer a beneficial effect for
                some species as Stipagrostis pungens (Figure 14), and
                In the depressions, characterized by the presence of the
                Nebkas, which are sandy accumulations fixed by some
                psammophile shrubs.




Sustainable Management of the Agro-Pastoral Resource Base in the Maghreb      60
Figure 14. Sandy wind veils cover large area, Ouled Chahida - Tunisia.

        The analysis has also showed that the ecological vegetative unit
        indicators of skeletal soils were the most dominants such as
        Gymnocarpos decander & Anthyllis sericea and Gymnocarpos
        decander & Heliahthemum kahiricum.

        Species composition: The analysis showed that Hammada
        schmittiana was the most abundant species. Retama raetam was
        found in 45.5% of the communities, whereas Stipagrostis pungens was
        only present in the sandy communities.
        Plant density varied from one species to another. This can be
        explained by the strong dynamic of certain species such as:
        Argyrolobium uniflorum, Heliahthemum sessiliflorum, and
        Heliahthemum intricatum.
        Pastoral value and grazing capacity: The pastoral value which
        represents a good indicator of the rangeland quality was in most
        communities very low. This is an indication of the mediocrity of the
        rangeland which can be explained by the reduction of the best pastoral
        species. The grazing capacity ranged from 0.14 to 0.55 sheep
        unit/ha/year.

Vegetation map for 2004: Ecological assessments of 122 samples were
collected and geo-positioned. The results of the statistical analyses using
ordination techniques identified six main vegetative groups. This database
was incorporated into a GIS environment to come up with a vegetative map
for 2004. The generated map shows a great diversity in vegetation types
based on biotic (water and soil characteristics) and abiotic factors
(topography, human impact).

Unfortunately specific LandSat images for the requested date were not
available. The only RS data the team was able to acquire were mosaic
scenes acquired through Oregon State University. Mosaic images are mainly
used for display purposes; therefore an attempt to interpret its classification
could be misleading.

Sustainable Management of the Agro-Pastoral Resource Base in the Maghreb      61
Vegetation map for 1990: Since no field data collection was acquired in 1990
the only remaining option was the use of archival remote sensing data. The
Tunisian team acquired a 1990 mosaic panchromatic SPOT image that
covers the pilot area. The team performed an on-screen digitizing routine to
map distinct vegetative groups. This yielded a vegetation map for 1990 with
12 main vegetation classes.

The results of this technique cannot be validated for the following reasons:

        The image used was a mosaic, which implies that it was compiled
        using images from multiple dates in order to fill the gaps.
        It is a black and white scene and does not have the necessary spectral
        reflectance to distinguish between various classes.
        There is no way one could ground truth the 1990 generated vegetation
        map (lack of accuracy assessment).

Based on these facts, trying to study the vegetation dynamics between 1990
and 2004 using remote sensing technique without ground truthing could be
misleading. Nevertheless, the Tunisian team has done a great job assessing
the current status of land degradation both in terms of the field work and the
statistical analysis. Results of their efforts showed that 74% of the vegetation
cover remained stable, 24% were converted into different vegetative types,
and 2.5% were cultivated.

The rangeland transformations between 1990 and 2004 were attributed to two
main causes: (1) irregular rainfall patters and (2) socio-economical factors
(overgrazing). Their combined actions lead to an unbalanced ecological
status which is illustrated through the decline of pastoral resources. This
trend can progressively accentuate the desertification process to the point of
no return.




Sustainable Management of the Agro-Pastoral Resource Base in the Maghreb       62
Theme 2: Local population strategies of natural resources use

Both Individual and community strategies of natural resources management
were investigated taking into the social structure of Ouled Chehida namely the
sub-fractions of Ouled Saad and Ouled Soltane and their distribution within
the socio territorial unit (STU).

A survey was conducted during the months of July through September 2004.
A total of 87 herders were questioned. Each survey consisted of 250
questions divided into 12 sections. Main findings are summarised below:
            The average number of head per herder is about 225 and most
            livestock owners (81%) have about 80 heads. This indicates the
            importance of association.
            The spatial distribution of the livestock across the landscape
            depends mainly on the owner’s residency. This is to minimize
            transportation cost, especially when supplementation is needed.
            During bad years, most herders remain close to water points.
            Livestock merely move great distances. During average years,
            there is a competition among herders to select the best rangelands.
            Big herders even move outside the Ouled Chahida STU.
            During good years, the livestock mobility depends on the season:
                    -   Spring: herders use the most distant rangelands.
                        Frequency of watering livestock is low (once per month if
                        vegetation is moist)
                    -   Summer: herds remain close to water points (need to
                        water livestock every 1-2 days)
                    -   Fall: look for rangelands that benefited from the early
                        rainfall
                    -   Winter: only portion of the flock use the rangelands (ewe
                        with baby lambs remain at the farm)
            Supplementation also varies from year to year. For example,
            during a bad year, supplementation often reaches 100%. For the
            average years it lasts up to7 months (August to February). For
            good years it lasts only 2 to 3 months (November to January).


Theme 3: Assessment of the viability of household in agro-pastoral area
Assessment of the viability of households would help us understand the
farming systems and strategies during bad and good years in the agro-
pastoral systems. The objective would be to identify key factors that influence
farmer’s strategies during crises (drought, crickets …) in the short as well as
the long term. These factors include social and economic parameters and
serve as indicators of welfare. This third theme was partially treated.



Sustainable Management of the Agro-Pastoral Resource Base in the Maghreb          63
Theme 4: Tentative modelling of rangeland degradation

Theme 5: Modelling approach of the sustainability of the whole agro-
pastoral system
Modeling of the agro-pastoral systems would assess the impacts of technical,
institutional and political options. The outputs of the previous themes would
be fed to this theoretical model to yield a decision support tool. These last
two themes would be met once the necessary modeling skills are acquired.




Sustainable Management of the Agro-Pastoral Resource Base in the Maghreb   64
CONCLUSION
Degradation of the agro-pastoral resources threatens the livelihoods of the
Maghreb rural communities. Increasing poverty, in turn, limits the range of
available options with regard to the sustainable management of these finite
resources. The challenge is made more difficult by the increasing rural
population densities and the effects of climate change.

The evaluation considered the progress toward developing and testing
technologies for the agro-pastoral resource management that will improve the
social and economic quality of life for rural people in an environmentally
sustainable fashion.

In this last segment of this evaluation report, I would like to highlight several
outcomes and suggestions made by participating countries as well as some
personal recommendations:

        Explicit objectives and a realistic time frame: The terms of
        reference as indicated in the agreement between the SDC and
        ICARDA were too ambitious and vague especially given the limited
        funding and time to carry out the activities. It is difficult to achieve
        technical, institutional, and political changes in a short time, even if the
        task is narrow. Participating countries requested more time, budget
        and emphasis on training to meet the desired goal.

        Decision-making tools: The project is heading toward the right
        direction in developing of decision-making tools for sustainable dryland
        resource management. In fact, the project has provided empirical
        information on impacts of current practices on the agro-pastoral
        productivity that will assist policy-makers in improving the institutional
        environment under which rural producers make their decisions.
        Moreover, Morocco which benefited from phase I “Oujda Project” is
        very close to test a range management scheme that would sustain the
        agro-pastoral system. This step would allow the project to analyze the
        feasibility and acceptability of these techniques.

        Modeling workshop: Several countries have been negatively
        impacted for not having organized the modelling workshop. Although
        the project is coming to its end soon, country members are still
        pursuing training on their own. The Tunisian team still hopes to use
        the available funding to train its staff in France (CIRAD). Morocco also
        is making plans for training locally. In this respect the modelling
        workshop would have given them a jump start but would not be enough
        to get them to the needed level.




Sustainable Management of the Agro-Pastoral Resource Base in the Maghreb            65
        Budget handling: Some countries have complained about delay in
        getting funding through ICARDA. This is due to the incompatibility of
        code activities by project budget line items and ICARDA standard
        code. To avoid further delay in carrying out project’s activities, national
        coordinators would like to have control of the money in lieu of their
        respective institutions.

        Collaboration and knowledge sharing: Perhaps the most significant
        output of this project is the exchange of knowledge among the
        Maghreb countries through the workshops and annual meetings. In
        particular the Oujda center for GIS/RS has a lot to offer in this field.
        Also the Tunisian team have developed skills in the participatory
        approach to research and development that can benefit other projects
        in Tunisia and in the rest of the Maghreb region. The ecological
        assessment of the impact of enclosures on rangeland rehabilitation
        performed by the Tunisian team in Jabal Al Akhdar (Libya) is another
        way of collaboration among NARS scientists in the Maghreb region.

        Land use: The field surveys conducted in the region confirm that these
        pastoral perimeters require a pastoral type of land use in order to
        withstand against progressive and often irreversible degradation of the
        environment.

        Technical options: Although rangeland improvement techniques are
        well know among NARS scientists and development projects technical
        staff, their implementation remain a challenge to collective rangelands.
        In this regard, the project has made a significant contribution for
        changing the mentality with respect to range rest.
                For instance, the rest area (enclosure) in Libya demonstrated
                the benefit of range rest. Already, the rested area has a higher
                vegetative cover which will improve water infiltration and reduce
                water runoff.
                The other example is of Ouled Chahida (Tunisia), where for the
                first time in the history of the country, grazing is being excluded
                from a collective rangelands (10,000 ha). Due to the fact that no
                rain has fallen since the range rest first was initiated, no
                difference in vegetative cover is noticeable compared to the
                grazed area. However, as soon as some humidity reaches the
                soil, the impact will be evident. Nevertheless, the fact that the
                local community agreed to sacrifice part of their grazing land is
                considered a major step forward.
        In a way, these actions are in the heart of the project’s mission to
        reverse the trend towards soil degradation and even to rehabilitate
        some of the degraded soils.

        Institutional options: Civil organizations such as pastoral
        cooperatives are not yet well developed in all countries. The project
        has worked closely with the pastoral cooperatives to diagnostic any ill
        and seeks recommendations to make them function better.

Sustainable Management of the Agro-Pastoral Resource Base in the Maghreb         66
       Policy options: The policy option remains the most difficult. Several
       existing laws/regulations governing these natural resources need to be
       reinforced. This can only happen if there is a political will. For
       instance, pastoral codes exist but are difficult to implement. Along the
       same line Governmental policy that prevent catastrophic livestock
       losses while simultaneously discouraging overstocking need to be
       developed. In a similar fashion, policies that inadvertantly encourage
       expansion of crop production into marginal areas, which leads to
       widespread land appropriation, destruction of natural vegetation, and
       dwindling grazing areas, need to be curtailed.

       The way forward for sustainable development of the agro-pastoral
       system in the Maghreb will greatly depend on the extent to which
       adequate policy, institutional and technical options are identified and
       used with the full participation of the communities.

       Use of RS/GIS: Another interesting aspect about this project is that it
       relies not only on the conventional methods of assessing
       environmental / socio-economic status but also on the use of GIS and
       RS. Unfortunately, the learning curve of these computer based skills is
       quite steep at the beginning and requires tremendous efforts, but it is a
       necessary step toward building the necessary expertise. In addition,
       there are still a few barriers that need to be removed in order to
       efficiently benefit from these tools, in particular when dealing with data
       availability and data sharing.

       Training: Along the same line an impediment to rapid application of
       remote sensing science to the agro-pastoral resources management is
       the lack of individual personnel educated in both GIS/RS and agro-
       pastoral management. One solution would be in service training of
       scientists working in the field. The idea would be to develop a skilled
       remote sensing analyst with expertise in landscape ecology and
       experience in digital image processing and GIS. In this regard, The
       project has contributed by providing a short term training workshop to
       agronomist and pastoralists collaborating in the project.

       National teams are not at the same level of progress (shortage of
       human capacity in some fields): Efficiency is directly linked to people
       who carry-out the job. The Moroccan team provides the best example
       in demonstrating this efficiency. INRA Oujda has a young and dynamic
       multi-disciplinary team that functions well. In contrast, the turnover of
       key team members can negatively harm the progress of the project.
       This is clearly the case of Mauritania.

        Site selection: Some countries have benefited greatly from previous /
        existing research and development projects. This is clearly the case of
        Tunisia where the national team gained significant skills in relation to
        the participatory approach through the M&M research project.
        Moreover, the collaboration with the on-going development project
        PRODESUD gave them the necessary support to implement some
        actions on the ground.
Sustainable Management of the Agro-Pastoral Resource Base in the Maghreb         67
       Regional Research Proposals for Funding Beyond 2005: During the
       annual meeting held in Tataouine (Tunisia), a lively debate on follow-on
       activities and funding activities after the current project ends resulted in
       several suggestions for regional activities. They all agreed that
       research and development needed to be together in future projects.
       Major agreed points were that:

                 A regional project was better than individual country projects.
                 Since funds were small for the current project, all agreed to
                 meet with major development project managers in their
                 countries to identify critical areas a follow-up project should
                 address.
                 Since each country had on-going heavily funded
                 development projects that were usually short term 2-3 years,
                 the new project should be long term over 6 years to provide
                 some continuity to the sporadic nature of development
                 projects. Rangeland problems require longer time for results
                 than the typical development activities.
                 The project objectives should be narrowed to 1-2 themes
                 directly linked to these existing projects without duplicating
                 their activities.

       Long term monitoring and evaluation: Each ecosystem behaves
       uniquely; therefore there is a need to establish permanent monitoring
       sites for all participating countries. In this regard, Algeria has set aside
       a 100 ha area for monitoring and evaluation. Tunisia benefits from an
       adjacent national park. However, a well documented methodology
       needs to be in place and followed regardless of these short term
       projects to monitor environmental factors. This task requires effort and
       money from national program funds.

       Grazing system: The free movement of livestock was severely
       restricted through the creation of international boundaries, which cut
       across pastoral routes. Furthermore, the administrative boundaries set
       by governments during the post colonization period did not match
       tribunal boundaries. This mismatch accentuated the sedentarisation
       process and contributed to land degradation. We can learn from the
       traditional grazing system that sustained people in this area for
       thousands of years. Typically an area was grazed, then the flocks
       moved to a new location allowing the plants to recover and regenerate.
       Flocks could return on an annual basis or, if the site was not productive
       might only return once in several years. Modern grazing systems that
       mimic this graze and rest process hold promise for reversing the
       downward trend in rangeland health.

        More research is needed: Although, GIS/RS have already been very
        helpful for the assessment and presentation of the current
        environmental and socio-economic status of the target zone, it is not
        fully utilized (with the exception perhaps of Morocco). More research is
        needed to make these tools fit better the nature of the ecological status
        of the agro-pastoral resources base in the Maghreb. For instance,
Sustainable Management of the Agro-Pastoral Resource Base in the Maghreb        68
        estimates of annual net primary production (ANPP) and range
        readiness from these rangelands can be accomplished using
        vegetation indices. This information could provide important data that
        could be used to document areas that are stable or improving while
        sustaining livestock production. In this respect Mr. Hamid Mahyou
        (INRA-Oujda) is trying to develop a new vegetation index that can be
        used as a tool in the Maghreb region to help in the decision making
        process.




Sustainable Management of the Agro-Pastoral Resource Base in the Maghreb     69
                                   APPENDICES




Sustainable Management of the Agro-Pastoral Resource Base in the Maghreb   70
Appendix A. Project evaluation terms of reference

  Days                                                Date                           Activity                          Country
                                                     Sunday        Met with Dr. Tiedeman at Hotel Belvedere
                                               11 September 2005   Tunis
                                                                                                                    ICARDA – Tunis
                                                    Monday         Discussion of evaluation report format at
                                                                   ICARDA Tunis                                         Tunisia
                                               12 September 2005
                                                    Tuesday        Morning - ICARDA Tunis
                                               13 September 2005   Afternoon - Departure To Morocco
                                                   Wednesday       Met Oujda INRA team
                                               14 September 2005   Power point presentations INRA Oujda
                                                   Thursday        Met local authority
                                                                   Field Visit Maâtarka site                           Morocco
                                               15 September 2005
                                                     Friday        Power point presentations INRA Oujda
                                               16 September 2005   Discussion of TOR & WP
                                                    Saturday       Discussion of TOR & WP Afternoon –
                                               17 September 2005   Departure to Mauritania
    21 Days Visiting Participating Countries




                                                     Sunday        Arrived at 3 am at Nouakchott.
                                               18 September 2005   Work on Morocco WP evaluation report
                                                    Monday         Morning: Met with Dr. Tall                         Mauritania
                                               19 September 2005   Afternoon: Visit Service Agro-Meterologic
                                                    Tuesday        Morning: Met with Mr. Dah Ould Zerrough
                                               20 September 2005   Afternoon: Discuss WP & TOR
                                                   Wednesday       Morning: Departure to Tunis
                                                                   ICARDA-Tunis: Reschedule flight to Libya         ICARDA – Tunis
                                               21 September 2005
                                                                                                                        Tunisia
                                                   Thursday        Morning: Evaluation report for Mauritania
                                               22 September 2005   Afternoon: Departure to Libya
                                                     Friday        Field visit and discussion of TOR& WP
                                               23 September 2005   with national coordinator and local authority
                                                                                                                        Libya
                                                    Saturday       Morning: Discussion of TOR & WP
                                               24 September 2005   Afternoon: Departure to Tunisia
                                                     Sunday        Morning: Work on WP &TR
                                               25 September 2005   Afternoon: Departure to Alger
                                                    Monday         Morning: Departure to Tébessa
                                               26 September 2005   Afternoon: Discussion of TOR & WP
                                                    Tuesday        Field visit and discussion with local                Algeria
                                               27 September 2005   community and authority
                                                   Wednesday       Morning met with NC in his office
                                               28 September 2005   Afternoon: Departure to Alger - Tunis - Djerba
                                                   Thursday        Field visit Ouled Chahida - Tataouine
                                               29 September 2005   Met with PRODESUD Coordinator
                                                     Friday        Visit OEP Tataouine, INRA Mednine
                                                                   Discussion of TOR & WP                               Tunisia
                                               30 September 2005
                                                    Saturday       Met with Dr. Ali Nefzaoui at INRAT
                                                01 October 2005    Discussion of TOR & WP
    6 Days




                                                                                                                       Kairouan
                                                              Writing Evaluation Report                                 Tunisia




Sustainable Management of the Agro-Pastoral Resource Base in the Maghreb                                                   71
Appendix B. Evaluation time table

      Review the project document
      Review regional workplan and each national workplan.
      Meet with each country coordinator and staff and the project sites for
      Tunisia, Algeria, Morocco, Mauritania and Libya (approximately 3 days
      per country).
      After visiting each country project site, evaluate and summarize progress
      relevant to the project outputs listed in the project document. If output is
      not yet achieved, describe status and prospect of completion by the end
      of the project. The project outputs are summarized as follows:

1.      Appraisals of current environmental status of the target zones, the
socio-economic status of the communities that utilize them, and of past
research and development efforts, as the basis for monitoring change and
subsequent appraisals of the socioeconomic and environmental
consequences of technical and public management options for
rangeland/livestock/cropping systems in the study areas;
Maps on range condition and encroachment of agricultural practices into
traditional rangeland in the study areas.
“What appraisals and maps of current environmental status were produced or
are in progress to completion?”

2.     A report on rangeland contribution to livestock nutrition and the
technical, institutional and policy options to allow sustainable feed.
“Was rangeland contribution to livestock nutrition appraised? Summarize
findings”

3.    A report on mechanisms for empowering local communities produced
and discussed with farmers and pastoralists, policy makers, provincial heads
and leaders of local organizations and institutions, and stakeholders of on-
going development projects.
“What mechanisms for empowering local communities were discussed with
pastoralists and officials?”

4.     Identified technical, institutional and policy options developed are
integrated into a range management scheme that would sustain the
production system, and tested in pilot sites.
“What technical, institutional or policy options were tested?”

5.       NARS scientists trained in the use of GIS/RS, appropriate
socioeconomic analysis and modelling tools, methods of feed production and
utilization, range rehabilitation and range and small ruminant management.
National agricultural research system and extension divisions are significantly
improved.

Sustainable Management of the Agro-Pastoral Resource Base in the Maghreb       72
“What training was completed including local and regional workshops? Are
skills learned being applied on the job?”


      Evaluate each countries progress towards accomplishing each output
      listed in their country workplan. Summarize accomplishments to date and
      projection towards completion. Was there involvement and collaboration
      with ongoing projects? Describe extent and what institutions involved.
      Write final report in English at project headquarters in Tunis (6 days)




Sustainable Management of the Agro-Pastoral Resource Base in the Maghreb        73
Appendix C. Tentative agenda for the final conference

                                   21 November 2005


Morning Session: 9:00-10:30

        Official Opening
        (Wali, DG INRA, SDC, ICARDA)

        Project Introduction
        Dr. James Tiedeman, project coordinator ICARDA

        First Phase of the Project and Evolution of the Second Phase
        Dr. Rahmi and A. Maatougui

        Strategy of the Ministry for the development of water in Morocco
        Livestock Directorate


Coffee Break 10:30-11:00


                 Sustainable Management of the Agro-Pastoral
                        Resource Base in the Maghreb


11:00-13:00: Research in Morocco

        Characterization of the rangeland, exploitation and users.
        Dutilly-Diane et al.

        Characterization of the degradation in the cooperative of Maâtarka.
        Mahyou, Maatougui, and Acherkouk

        Impact and extent of cultivation in the project area.
        El Koudrim et al.

        Study of the pastoral water points management in the rural community
        of Maâtarka
        Maatouui, Mahyou, and Acherkouk


Lunch




Sustainable Management of the Agro-Pastoral Resource Base in the Maghreb      74
Afternoon Session 14:30-18:30

        Pastoral cooperatives of Tendrara Maatarka.
        Bechchari et al.

        Characterization and dynamics of pastoral exploitation in the High
        Plateau.
        Bouayad Abdallah et al.

DISCUSSION

Coffee/Tea Break

16:15-17:15: Case of Libya

        Sustainable Management of the Agro-pastoral Resource Base in Libya
        Hassan Isteita, Adnan Sbeita, Shaban mansur

DISCUSSION

17:15-18:30 Case of Mauritania (Titles and authors not yet submitted)

        Sustainable Management of the Agro-pastoral Resource Base in
        Mauritania

DISCUSSION


                                   22 November, 2005

Morning Session 8:30-13:00

Sustainable Management of the Agro-pastoral Resource Base: Research
in Tunisia

        Individual strategy for communal rangeland resources utilization: the
        case of Ouled Chéhida community, South-East of Tunisia.
        Nasr Raggad, Azaiez Ouled Belgacem and Ali Nefzaoui

        Survey of ecological systems and land use dynamics using GIS tools:
        the case of Ouled Chéhida, Southern Tunisia.
        Azaiez Ouled Belgacem, Nasr Raggad and Ali Nefzaoui

        Participative and field assessment of communal degraded Tunisian arid
        rangelands: Development of degradation indicators.
        Azaiez Ouled Belgacem, Nasr Raggad and Ali Nefzaoui

        A conceptual approach for herds mobility in communal rangelands
        according to a Multi-Agents model.
        Nasr Raggad, Azaiez Ouled Belgacem and Ali Nefzaoui

Discussion

Sustainable Management of the Agro-Pastoral Resource Base in the Maghreb        75
Coffee/Tea Break

Sustainable Management of the Agro-pastoral Resource Base: Research
in Algeria

        Livestock system and mode of utilization of rangeland in the Lahmad
        zone ( Thlidjène-Algeria)
        Kanoun Amel El-Bouyahiaoui, and Rachid Moussa Brahim

        Land cultivation in the Lahmad zone: an unavoidable agricultural
        product
        Kanoun Mohamed, Meguellati Amel, and Moussa Brahim

        Characterization and functioning of the local communities of the
        Lahmad (Thlidjène-Algeria)
        Kanoun Mohamed, Meguellati Amel, and Moussa Brahim

        Evaluation of the agro-pastoral vegetation dynamics in Lahmed zone
        ( Thlidjène-Algeria)
        Bellahrache Ahmed and Redjel Noureddine

        The region of Lahmad: an area in mutation
        Kanoun Mohamed, Bellahrache Ahmed, Kanoun Amel, and El-Bouyahiaoui
        Rachid

        Algerian experience in rangeland resources field: case of Lahmad
        (Thlidjène-Algeria)
        Redjel Noureddine

Discussion

Lunch

Afternoon Session: 15:00-18:30

        Pastoral cooperative in Morocco oriental.
        M. Tozy

        Local Institutions. Herzeni
        INRA, Settat

        Problems of pastoral “foncier”

        Interventions CRTS. Bijaber

        Interventions DPAE Tahri

        Dr. Berkat


Coffee Break


Sustainable Management of the Agro-Pastoral Resource Base in the Maghreb      76
Session IV: Experiences of other projects in management of rangeland

        Experience of PDPEO in resource rehabilitation (Morocco)
        DPA Figuig

        Experience of the agro-pastoral integrated project of south-
        eastern Tunisia.
        Dr. Ali Nefzaoui

        Algeria

        Libya


                                   23 November 2005


        Field trip to the project site in the region of Tendrara-Maatarka




Sustainable Management of the Agro-Pastoral Resource Base in the Maghreb    77

				
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