The United Nations University Institute for the Advanced Study of Sustainability (UNU-IAS), together with the University of Tokyo’s Integrated Research System for Sustainability Science (IR3S/UTIAS), recently published a new publication with the title “Socio-ecological production landscapes and seascapes (SEPLS) in Africa”. The publication aims to contribute knowledge and understanding on SEPLS in Africa, focusing particularly on their role in human well-being and sustainable development. It compiles twelve SEPLS-related case studies from six African countries and builds on the Satoyama Initiative Regional Workshop in Africa, held in Ghana in August 2015, featuring three case studies contributed by the COMDEKS Cameroon, Ethiopia, and Ghana country teams.
The Bogo landscape in Cameroon is endowed with diverse natural resources with agricultural systems, rich alluvial soils (despite the dry climate), and a diversified pasture and cultural system, which is conducive to tourism and provides a solid foundation for economic activities and sustainable development. In Ghana, the Weto SEPL is a dynamic, mountainous mosaic landscape characterized by tropical climatic conditions with moist semi-deciduous vegetation and diverse habitats and land use. The landscape has been shaped by cultural beliefs that have guided the conservation of agro-biodiversity and protection of highly ecologically sensitive areas. Finally, the COMDEKS target landscape in Ethiopia, the Gilgil Gibe 1 (GG1) catchment consists of a diverse mosaic of ecosystems, and the local farming community depends on subsistence agriculture. As a result of the sharp increase in population, the previously rich biodiversity resources have gradually depleted to a level that cannot sustain livelihood requirements.
The case studies illustrate the unique social and environmental backgrounds of the individual target landscapes, the role of local knowledge practices and systems, challenges and threats to the SEPLS, as well as the COMDEKS supported efforts to increasing landscape resilience and improving socio-ecological production, providing comprehensive technical information on the landscape and supported initiatives. Each case study highlights key achievements and recommendations for future activities to conserve biodiversity while improving livelihoods of local communities dependent on ecosystem services.
“SEPLS in Africa” is available for download from the IPSI website here.