Nouakchott green belt of Mauritania
Support to the rehabilitation and extension of the Nouakchott green belt (Mauritania) - GCP/MAU/022/BEL
Since late 1960s Mauritania has been severely affected by repeated periods of drought. Desertification control has always been a national priority and a central concern of successive governments.
The main effect of desertification in Mauritania has been a reduction in the amount of arable land, grazing land, forests and water resources. Given the extent of the phenomenon, Mauritania has expressed a firm political will and commitment to combat this scourge.
The establishment of the Nouakchott Green Belt (1975) was originally meant for agricultural purposes. The Green Belt played an important role in protecting the city and its outskirts and in providing informal employment. Along the years a rapid growth of the population and consequent urban expansion exerted an increasing pressure on the urban and peri-urban areas around the capital. Growing pressure on plantations and unsustainable use of these desertification-prone areas rapidly led to further land degradation.
FAO, in collaboration with the Government of Mauritania and with financing from the Walloon Region of Belgium, was responsible for the implementation of a project called “Support for the rehabilitation and extension of the Nouakchott green belt project”. The project was born, with the intent of fostering conservation and agro-silvo-pastoral development while at the same time combating sand encroachment of the green belt area around the city of Nouakchott.
The main objectives of FAO intervention were to:
- Ensure the stability and the renovation of the green cover already present;
- Envisage further planting schemes and future plans for the management and conservation of urban and peri-urban forests around the city of Nouakchott.
The project involved the following main activities:
- Conceive and implement plans for the rehabilitation and conservation of the targeted area;
- Prepare medium and long term plans for the development of urban and peri-urban forests, taking into account the different needs of the inhabitants of the city of Nouakchott (small scale agriculture, sustainable harvesting of the plantations, recreation);
- Provide training at the local and institutional level and involve relevant stakeholders to enable them to successfully plan and implement coherent strategies for the protection, conservation and extension of future afforestation scheme;
- Test and implement dune fixation practices in coastal dunes areas.