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Determination of land restoration potentials in the semi-arid areas of Chad using systematic monitoring and mapping techniques

Abstract

The restoration of degraded lands has received increased attention in recent years and many commitments have been made as part of global and regional restoration initiatives. Well-informed policy decisions that support land restoration, require spatially explicit information on restoration potentials to guide the design and implementation of restoration interventions in the context of limited resources. This study assessed ecosystems indicators of land degradation using a systematic approach that combines field surveys and remote sensing data into a set of multi-criteria analyses to map restoration potentials in the semi-arid areas. The indicators considered were soil organic carbon, erosion prevalence, enhanced vegetation index, Normalized differences water index and the Net Primary productivity. Three classes of restoration potential were established: (1) areas not in need of immediate restoration due low degradation status, (2) areas with high potential for restoration with moderate efforts required and (3) areas in critical need of restoration and require high level of efforts. Of the total area of the study site estimated at 88,344 km2, 59,146.12 km2, or 66.94% of the theoretically recoverable area, was considered suitable for restoration, of which 38% required moderate efforts while 28% require less efforts. The recoverable areas suitable for restoration could be restored through tree planting, soil and water conservation practices, farmers managed natural regeneration, and integrated soil fertility management. These results can help to spatially identify suitable multifunctional restoration and regeneration hotspots as an efficient way to prioritize restoration interventions in the context of limited resources.

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Acknowledgements

We would like to acknowledge the contribution of the field team based in Chad and we are particularly indebted to Muhamad Nabi Ahmed and Benard Onkware for their support during the implementation of the field methodology. Financial supports were provided by the International Fund for Agriculture (IFAD) (Grant number 2000000925), Global Environment Facility (Grant number 2000000926) and the Adaptation for Smallholder Agriculture Program (Grant number 2000000927) through the government of the Republic of Chad. Partial funding for the writing and analysis of the data was obtained from CGIAR Research Program on Forests, Trees and Agroforestry (FTA) and the Swedish Research Council Formas (grant number 2017‐00430). We are indebted Muhamad Nabi Ahmed, Benard Onkware and the entire field team for the implementation of LDSF field methodology.

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Correspondence to Bertin Takoutsing.

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Takoutsing, B., Winowiecki, L.A., Bargués-Tobella, A. et al. Determination of land restoration potentials in the semi-arid areas of Chad using systematic monitoring and mapping techniques. Agroforest Syst (2022). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10457-021-00720-9

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Keywords

  • Land restoration
  • Land degradation
  • Ecosystem indicators
  • Soil organic carbon
  • Drylands