Could you share examples/activities in your work where a(n) (unsustainable) production system played a key role for the degradation of the biodiversity surrounding it?
Impact of farming on bowalization in Benin, West Africa
Bowal (plural bowé) is a particular form of degraded land that occurs in tropical regions and leads to the exposure of ferricretes, which are unsuitable for farming. Bowé are more common on farmland and degraded savanna. Changes in land use/land cover were used to map a region of 6.7 million ha in northern Benin, West Africa in 1975, 1990 and 2010. The changes observed during these periods (1975-1990, 1990-2010 and 1975-2010) were used to predict the occurrence of bowé in the period up to 2050 using Markovian chain analysis.
The findings publsihed in Land Use Policy (Padonou et al 2017) showed a considerable change in land use/land cover during the three periods. The types of land on which bowé occur (farmland and degraded savanna) increased in northern Benin by 5.4% per year during the period 1975-1990 and 9.5% per year during the periods 1990-2010, while the natural vegetation (forest, woodland and tree savanna) decreased by the same amount. The future scenarios also predicted the same trend. In the period 1975-1990, 1.28 million ha (26%) of natural vegetation was converted to degraded savanna and farmland while 2.23 million ha (53%) of natural vegetation was converted to degraded savanna and farmland in the period 1990-2010. Based on the dynamics recorded during the period 1975-1990 and 1990-2010 respectively, a total of 1.28 million ha (26% of the natural vegetation that was present in 1975) and 1.29 million ha (31% of the natural vegetation that was present in 1990) will be converted to farmland and degraded savanna in the study area by 2050.
Thus bowalization will persist and increase in the period up to 2050. The natural vegetation could disappear if protection and restoration measures are not taken.