Preprint Article Version 1 This version is not peer-reviewed

Beyond Bioproductivity: Engaging Local Perspectives in Land Degradation Monitoring and Assessment

Version 1 : Received: 25 May 2018 / Approved: 28 May 2018 / Online: 28 May 2018 (10:40:11 CEST)

How to cite: Herrmann, S.; Diouf, A.A.; Sall, I.. Beyond Bioproductivity: Engaging Local Perspectives in Land Degradation Monitoring and Assessment . Preprints 2018, 2018050399 (doi: 10.20944/preprints201805.0399.v1). Herrmann, S.; Diouf, A.A.; Sall, I.. Beyond Bioproductivity: Engaging Local Perspectives in Land Degradation Monitoring and Assessment . Preprints 2018, 2018050399 (doi: 10.20944/preprints201805.0399.v1).

Abstract

Land degradation monitoring and assessment in the Sahel zone takes advantage of and relies substantially on temporal trends of remote sensing-based vegetation indices, which are proxies for the bioproductivity of the land. However, prior studies have shown that negative or positive trends in bioproductivity are not necessarily associated with degradation or improvement of land condition. We argue that remote sensing-based indices, while having contributed much to dismantling an outdated desertification narrative, are themselves falling short of capturing the whole picture and need to be accompanied by field observations that are relevant to local land users. We used the participatory photo elicitation method in three sites in order to elicit local pastoralists’ perspectives on land degradation and identify the indicators that they use to characterize pasture quality, while empowering them to lead the discussion. The discussion revealed indicators far beyond bioproductivity, including livestock performance as well as composition and quality of the herbaceous and woody vegetative cover, invasive species, soil quality and water availability. We found that the pastoralists’ interest, knowledge and field observations could potentially be harnessed using a crowd-sourcing approach in order to produce a geospatially explicit dataset of land degradation, which would be complementary to the remote sensing-based maps of trends in bioproductivity and could serve as a reference for the development of more targeted remote sensing-based indicators of land degradation

Subject Areas

land degradation; participatory methods; photo elicitation; Sahel; local knowledge; remote sensing

Readers' Comments and Ratings (0)

Leave a public comment
Send a private comment to the author(s)
Rate this article
Views 0
Downloads 0
Comments 0
Metrics 0
Leave a public comment

×
Alerts
Notify me about updates to this article or when a peer-reviewed version is published.