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Closing session


Recommendations and conclusions
Closing speech by Dr. R.E. Hodgson
Closing speech by Dr. J.R. Pagot
Speech of gratitude by the delegate of the OAU, Dr. P. Nderito
Closing speech by the Minister of production of the Republic of Mali


Under the distinguished Chairmanship of His Excellency, SIDI COULIBALY, Minister of Production of Mali

Recommendations and conclusions


Item 1: Categories of rangeland survey and evaluation
Item 2: Review of experiences
Item 3: Site development - parameters and methods
Item 4: Sampling and data processing
Item 5: Cartography
Item 6: Guidelines for the future


Item 1: Categories of rangeland survey and evaluation

Chairman: A. DIALLO
Rapporteur: A. GASTON
Discussion leader: R. PERRY
Members of the Drafting Committee: A. DIALLO, R. PERRY, C. CAZABAT, H. LE HOUEROU, N. MCLEOD, M. INUWA, P. SIMS, K. VOELGER

1.1 Characteristics of Surveys

Before a range survey is undertaken, its objectives must be clearly defined. Only after such a definition has been made is it possible to work out the characteristics of the survey. The defining of objectives should be the subject of a dialogue between those responsible for development and the specialists who will carry out the work.

The setting up of a survey must include an initial phase during which the available data are assembled and evaluated.

These studies should be of an interdisciplinary nature and should include particularly a socioeconomic component.

Since the surveys are of an interdisciplinary nature, they should include not only rangeland but also the agricultural and forestry zones and other zones which occur within the geographical boundary of the investigation.

Satellite images do not for the moment appear to provide satisfactory results if they are not complemented by control work at ground level.

The use of conventional aerial photographs is always necessary, but should be complemented by satellite images taken before and during the survey.

1.2 The choice of scale will depend on the objective; for planning at the national level, the scale of 1:500,000 would appear to be suitable.

However, planning at the regional level requires a larger scale, for example, of 1:200,000, and for a specific development project scales of approximately 1:50,000 or larger are required.

In addition, detailed surveys should always be placed in their regional context by means of a medium scale (1:200,000) map.

1.3 It is not enough to carry out the inventory and mapping of rangeland; these operations must be followed up by the measurement of primary and secondary production, if possible spanning several years.

Measurement over a period of time should in particular make it possible to ascertain variations in production, especially as a function of precipitation.

It is important not only to define current production, but also to evaluate potential for improvements and evolutionary trends.

Assessment of the cost of surveys is very complex, and for any given type of survey varies widely from one country to another. It is thus not possible to give any estimate here - such an estimate could only be relative.

In order to reduce cost, many-sided surveys are recommended, which would be of interest to different departments (such as: Livestock, Agriculture, Forestry, Water Resources, or others).

1.4 The monitoring of environmental change should jointly and simultaneously make use of teledetection and ground truth.

It is essential to study the dynamics of vegetation in order to provide guidance in rangeland management. Existing studies are particularly valuable in this respect; it is nevertheless necessary to make use of periodical ground observations at carefully determined, representative points, and use at the same time the techniques of teledetection and ground truth.

Teledetection will use aerial photographs taken at medium and high altitudes, and will make it possible to define the characteristics of the different evaluation parameters and their correlations.

The training of African specialists in teledetection in association with development specialists should be vigorously encouraged.

Photo interpretation is a practical tool and a technique with which specialists of the different disciplines should become familiar (ecologists, forestry experts, animal production specialists, agronomists, etc.).

Participation in training programmes in teledetection should thus be considered as the complement of specialist training in the various disciplines and not as training of polyvalent photo-interpreters.

Item 2: Review of experiences

Chairman: R. GERMAIN
Rapporteur: M. GWYNNE
Discussion leader: B. DESCOINGS
Members of the Drafting Committee: G. BOUDET, N. DAWSON, B. DESCOINGS, H. LE HOUEROU, M. GWYNNE, J. PAGOT, E. TRUMP.

2.1 Summary of Principles

Papers by the following five authors were not circulated prior to the meeting, but were introduced to the audience for the first time by their authors. This greatly reduced the detail of the presentation and the time available for subsequent discussion. The main principles of thought behind each type of survey are presented here.

2.1.1 H. LE HOUEROU said that the main philosophy of the survey work in Tunisia is that these studies had in view from the beginning an overall and country-wide agricultural planning and development. Therefore vegetation is regarded as an integrated expression of all the environmental factors and their interactions. A detailed analysis of the main environmental variables and their influence upon vegetation (natural or artificial) is therefore required.

These studies need also to be extended over a long period of time where inventory (research) comes first and mapping (survey) later. The whole country (160,000 km²) is covered by maps at intermediate (1:100,000 - 1:200,000) to small (1:500,000 - 1:1,000,000) scale. These studies called for an interdisciplinary approach with continuity of methods. Accordingly he and his colleagues have established and used for more than 20 years a characteristic system which has become known as the Montpellier system (CEPE).

The teams involved in these surveys included phytosociologists, soil scientists, range scientists, foresters, agronomists, climatologists, geographers, agro-economists and agricultural planners.

The results were made available as soon as possible to the authorities in charge of development so that there was virtually no gap between research, survey, and development.

2.1.2 G. BOUDET reported that the surveys conducted by his team in the Sahelian and Sudanian zones of West Africa were not made on a systematic basis, but were in response to specific requests from governments that were interested in the subsequent development of the surveyed regions. The technique of mapping used ground studies (phytosociology), aerial photo interpretation, and analysis of the nutritive value of grass at different periods of the year.

The use of the Gaussen colour scale permits a good representation of the ecology and value of rangeland. In the Sahelian zone, these surveys were oriented towards rangeland usage, whereas in the Sudanian area they were also linked to agricultural development. In order to implement and achieve practical development in these zones, G. Boudet considered that it was necessary to have a sound long-term knowledge of the dynamics of plant sociology, so that beneficial and non-beneficial trends of change in the vegetation community and habitat could be detected.

Rangeland mapping in the Sahelian zone has been carried out on a regional basis, and this has been a useful means of identification of development problems. The scale of such mapping varied according to the needs of the development objectives proposed, e.g. 1:1,000,000 to 1:500,000 was found convenient for regional development projects, while 1:200,000 to 1:50,000 was found more suitable for detailed local schemes. In total, 1,800,000 km² of rangeland pasture have been mapped from 1959 to 1975.

2.1.3 N. DAWSON said that the rangeland surveys carried out in Queensland, Australia, were of the Land-system type, with the emphasis placed on the description of the Land-unit. In the past the Land-unit has only been described briefly, but in these surveys detailed descriptions of the topography of soils (including soil analysis), vegetation, and land use characteristics have been given for each Land-unit, and the Land-unit has thus become the operative unit for use by extension workers. Land-system maps at 1:250,000 scale have been found adequate for farm planning in the rangeland areas of Australia because of the large size of the properties involved, i.e. 20,000 or more hectares.

The computer methods used have led to a more efficient interpretation and classification of the survey data collected, and have ensured that no valuable data are lost. Each survey, therefore, becomes an important reference point or bench mark for future range research.

2.1.4 E. TRUMP described the integrated multidisciplinary approach used in the rangeland surveys carried out by the UNDP/FAO Kenya Range Management project. These surveys, which involved specialists in rangeland ecology, water development, wildlife biology, and livestock economy, give the broad ecological criteria required for first approximation land-use planning, including an attempt to quantify livestock numbers and the people dependent upon them. They were carried out at the request of, and in areas designated by, the Kenya Government. Working maps (ecological zone, vegetation, water resource, community development, etc.) were developed at a scale of 1:250,000, but the final presentation was nearly always reduced to 1:500,000. These were short-duration surveys designed to extract sufficient information to achieve the objectives of the survey in a comparatively short time and to get this information to the planners as quickly as possible.

2.1.5 M. GWYNNE said that the Ecological Monitoring Programme concept in East Africa used the ecosystem approach to try to determine the spatial and temporal pattern of primary and secondary productivity in a particular ecosystem. The demand from the East African governments for information on a large scale has necessitated the development of animal census and habitat monitoring techniques which are efficient and inexpensive enough to be applied repeatedly over large areas. Data relating to ecological attributes along a continuum of mutability from the permanent to the ephemeral are collected on three operationally separate levels - from the ground, from the air, and from space. The basis of the air survey is the Systematic Reconnaissance Flight, which is also the logical first step in any resource assessment of a new area. Regular ground sampling along transects and/or at sites provides the basic primary production and climatic data upon which the other two levels depend. Such surveys at all levels are periodic, so that the system has the advantage of recording habitat dynamics. Efficient data storage, retrieval and processing procedures are essential to its success. In the Kenya Rangeland Ecological Monitoring Unit, the data gatherers are responsible to a Steering Committee of planners who channel the processed information to the appropriate government agencies for consideration and action.

2.2 Conclusions

Due to the nature of the presentation of these papers, time did not allow an adequate discussion, and there was no chance to consider the merits and disadvantages of the respective systems outlined in terms, for example, of information returned for finance and time expended, usefulness of the data gathered to the requesting government department, and the additional resultant benefits in the form of trained local national manpower. The discussion did, however, highlight the following recommendations, which are the conclusions of the Committee:

2.2.1 Rangeland surveys must have clearly defined objectives with the methodology well adapted, both in terms of techniques and costs, to achieving objectives;

2.2.2 Aerial survey provides broadscale data rapidly and is at its most useful when combined with adequate ground control information;

2.2.3 The most useful results are obtained when all the factors in the habitat system have been considered and integrated in both survey and mapping;

2.2.4 It is imperative that central data storage systems be established for efficient data processing and future reference, as all data collected in surveys are of use for development in the future;

2.2.5 Survey methods must be adapted to local conditions, but it is desirable that they also be compatible with broader regional or international monitoring procedures;

2.2.6 There should be close contact between those who carry out the surveys and those who are to use the land. This might best be done by more subsequent long-term investigations on the site;

2.2.7 There is a great need for training of African nationals at all levels in the different fields associated with rangeland development.

This item and the previous one presuppose that the region concerned has a well-established policy for rangeland development and the financial resources for executing such a policy.

Item 3: Site development - parameters and methods

Chairman: L. AYUKO
Rapporteur: A. BLAIR RAINS
Discussion leader: H. HEADY
Members of the Drafting Committee: L. AYUKO, A. BLAIR RAINS, T. BREDERO, M. INUWA, H. HEADY, J. POISSONET, R. RIVIERE, B. SONI, C. DE WIT.

3.1 Vegetation Recording and Measurement

3.1.a The following major points arose from the discussion:

3.1.a.1 The choice of methods of inventorying depends on objectives, and these are very often disparate and specific to varying degrees; it is thus difficult to advocate any uniformity or standardisation of methods, and it is preferable to speak of harmonisation and of research into compatibility between methods of study of vegetation.

3.1.a.2 Methods are adapted to objectives, which should be clearly defined.

3.1.a.3 The different methods of studying vegetation must be inventoried and the inventory made available to potential users.

3.1.a.4 Every report or publication should make precise reference to the method used.

3.1.a.5 Standardisation is particularly appropriate in regard to the data to be studied, and once the latter is consistently treated, it should be possible to make use of methods of inventory adapted to objectives, thus facilitating the training of personnel (scientific or technical).

3.1.b Recommendation: It is necessary to carry out an inventory and critical synthesis of all the methods of study of vegetation, to:

3.1.b.1 state precisely the objectives to which each method is applicable: phytogeographical, phytosociological, phytoecological, the study of vegetation, flora, productivity, rangeland sites, and others;

3.1.b.2 enumerate and define the different parameters used and the way in which they are recorded;

3.1.b.3 compare in one or more locations and with the collaboration of several experts, all the methods applicable to one objective, which would:

a) allow a better dialogue between experts of different languages, and

b) make it possible to use the best method or methods (in training or extension) for several criteria: precision, simplicity, rapidity, etc.

Taken together, these recommendations should make it possible to harmonise methods of inventorying, so that they are consistent in time and place and from one language to the other, in particular seeking a precise and uniform definition of the data to be gathered.

3.2 Ecological Status: Range Condition and Trend

The discussion reflected the considerable interest in unfavorable changes and in the zonation around watering points. Some experiences indicated that rehabilitation of vegetation by closing boreholes and wells was usually not socially acceptable. Water development in range areas should only be undertaken where there is ability to control stock numbers and to manage grazing through the use of various practices. Development of surface water should be considered before that of groundwater.

The recognition of range condition and trends was considered to be of the greatest importance, and the factors involved in this recognition were discussed.

3.3 Plant-Animal Interaction

Discussions centred on problems of nomadism and southward migration across sub-Sahara Africa in the dry season. Rest periods help to rehabilitate the range. Other technical means of meeting the problems include additional protein food-sources, developing the potential of better areas, redesigning migration routes, rotational grazing schemes, and methods of de-stocking.

It was suggested that ILCA make an inventory of operative technical solutions to the problems of nomadic grazing.

Discussion stressed that technical solutions to range problems are subject to constraints of economic, social and political institutions, and that they can be. made operative only when the whole living system is included in surveys and recommendations. For example, extension procedures should be in the local language, alternative ways of living and job opportunities must be developed, the water supply must be centrally controlled, and nomadism should be accepted as a way of life.

Economic returns may determine the extent to which supplementary feeding and other inputs are adopted.

3.4 and 3.5 Nutritive Value and Carrying Capacity of Tropical Rangeland

The two concepts of nutritive value and carrying capacity of tropical rangeland are closely linked, for the carrying capacity of rangeland depends fundamentally on its nutritive value.

3.4.1. Nutritive value is related to:

3.4.1.1 the productivity of the rangeland in palatable species;

3.4.1.2 the quantity of voluntary intake of forage by the animals;

3.4.1.3 the availability of palatable lignaceous species as a source of nitrogenous matter, which is essential for the effective utilisation of nutrients and is often deficient in herbaceous species;

3.4.1.4 the digestibility of forage consumed.

Such factors vary considerably, influenced by climatic variations and the manner in which the rangeland is used.

There is virtually no information available concerning intake and digestibility of the vegetation of natural tropical rangeland, or the actual needs of the animals. Such data are difficult to establish and many studies are necessary - implementation of these studies has now become a matter of urgency.

3.5.1. Carrying capacity is very variable, as are the factors upon which it depends. The problem is to determine the quantity of livestock which the rangeland can support: to ensure a sufficient supply of feed for the animals while preserving the rangeland's productivity potential.

A badly gauged stocking rate will result in the over- or under-grazing of the rangeland, and both are equally prejudicial.

Numerous estimates of the carrying capacity of rangeland in Francophone Africa exist, carried out by IEMVT; however, the control of such capacity through animals has to date been the subject of only a small number of tests.

Item 4: Sampling and data processing

Chairman: M. INUWA
Rapporteur: H. LE HOUEROU
Discussion leader: P. BOEKER
Members of the Drafting Committee: M. INUWA, H. LE HOUEROU, P. BOEKER, J.C. BILLE, B. LUNDHOLM, N. MCLEOD, P. NDERITO, D. PRATT, C. DE WIT.

Summary and Conclusions

The number and contents of the offered papers was insufficient to cover the whole subject matter and allow for an intensive discussion on this topic. In this seminar the subjects could only be discussed within very specific parameters and on an advanced scientific level.

Sampling procedures were not discussed, but it was felt that there is need for discussions in this field. Though in some parts of the world there are compilations of methods available, there is scope for a certain adaptation to African conditions, having also in view that the researchers are on different levels. Perhaps a complete work-shop on this subject could be planned. It is perhaps advisable for the future to have one or two invited papers which could outline the problems to be discussed.

The same applies to the analysis of data, data storage, and the mathematical problems involved. These are very specific problems for certain specialists, which could best be discussed by a small group of experts in these fields. Their conclusions should be formulated so that the researcher in the field could easily have access to them.

Most of the time was spent in discussing the problems of modelling. For some years these procedures have been undertaken in various places and have brought encouraging first results. Modelling is a simulation research. It can be used to estimate potential production and it can give a guide to resource allocation in rangeland development. As the parameters for modelling are formulated, new sampling techniques for collecting the necessary data may have to be developed. It can be undertaken in the framework of estimating potential output, and it can act as a guide to resources, thus supporting development. As the parameters for modelling are formulated, the sample techniques for collecting the necessary validation data have to be improved, and the scale of operations broadened.

The second problem discussed, more in detail, was that of cellular mapping, by which integrated maps can be produced that may be easily adjusted to changing conditions.

It was felt that the information flow was not ideal at the moment, but that the seminar in this respect was very successful, in that it better enabled the researchers of the different language groups and from various ecological and other conditions to understand each other. It is hoped that this will be continued and encouraged in the future.

The consensus was that:

1) Centres are needed to collect research information and field experience, to help the two-way flow between research and field workers.

2) Effort is also needed at national level for ensuring a better dialogue between technical and extension officers.

Item 5: Cartography

Chairman: SORA ADI
Rapporteur: E. TRUMP
Discussion leader: G. BOUDET
Members of the Drafting Committee: SORA ADI, E. TRUMP, G. BOUDET, A. DIALLO, D. GATES, P. NDERITO, D. PRATT, S. RISOPOULOS, K. VOELGER.

5. The drafting committee on cartography presents the following conclusions concerning the various sub-items:

5.1.1 In the transcription of data, generalised interpretations should only be made when sufficient data gathered at ground level is available.

5.1.2 Aerial photographs are basically dealt with by means of classic photo-interpretation.

The use of photographs obtained from satellites by means of various processes (semi-automatic, automatic) makes it possible to produce maps on a small scale, such as 1:500,000.

In the preparation of medium-scale maps (1:200,000 or 1:250,000), photography on a scale (1:100,000) intermediate between that of satellite images and conventional aerial photographs should be envisaged.

5.2 The use of colour in cartographic conventions improves the legibility and clarity of the document. Where black and white are used alone, the use of various symbols becomes necessary, and there is not always a financial saving.

In any event, it is desirable to harmonise the colours, and the basic colours proposed by Gaussen and adopted by UNESCO for the representation of ecological data are suitable for adoption in Africa.

5.3 It emerged from the discussions that maps should gather together a maximum of results obtained, while remaining simple and legible.

5.3.a It is recommended that for inventory mapping integrated pluridisciplinary research should be envisaged, in order to reduce costs and to represent the following features simultaneously on a common topographical base:

5.3.a.1 maps of ecological potential (natural resources, soil, vegetation, water)

5.3.a.2 land use maps (agriculture, forestry, rangeland)

5.3.a.3 maps of development potentials.

5.3.b For document layout, the committee recommends that conventional cartography (defined elsewhere) should be supplemented by the use of semi-controlled photographic mosaics.

The use of this type of material makes it possible to produce photo-maps as documents for distribution.

In this procedure, particular attention should be paid to the use of standard scales (outlined in 5.4) for international sheets.

5.3.c In order to harmonise the presentation of the results of research, a system for the classification of different types of vegetation based on their structure might be envisaged, particularly in respect of grass formations capable of being used for grazing. A map should if possible record data relating to structures of vegetation; in order to standardise nomenclature, it is recommended that a seminar on the classification and naming of grass formations should be planned.

5.4 In choosing scales:

i) the scale of 1:500,000 is recommended for general purpose maps, making it possible to utilise satellite data;

ii) the scales of 1:50,000 and 1:25,000 are recommended for detailed mapping and for the processing of data collected by satellites;

iii) for medium-scale maps, English-speaking countries use a scale of 1:250,000, while French-speaking countries use a scale of 1:200,000; it is recommended that a meeting of experts should consider a common scale for the African continent.

The committee notes that a standard sheet has been adopted south of the Sahara on the basis of one square degree.

5.4.1 The application of cartography to continuous monitoring implies a standardisation of methods. 1:500,000 might be considered as a base.

The use of data processing for appropriate purposes should be extended.

5.5 General Conclusions of the Committee

5.5.1 Harmonisation of nomenclature is essential in order to clarify the data available; it should be based on a revision of the classification of vegetation.

5.5.2 It is of great importance that cartographic documents relating to general information (ecological potential) should be issued in sufficient number to guarantee a wide diffusion of knowledge. The various African national organisations should be in a position to take action to facilitate the exchange of such information.

5.5.3 It would seem essential to envisage a training programme, embracing different subjects and different levels:

5.5.3.a the use of documents obtained by means of planes and satellites;

5.5.3.b the preparation of maps;

5.5.3.c the use of maps.

Such training should be provided in schools and universities in Africa.

The training programmes should make use of research and studies carried out locally.

Within the framework of these programmes simplified methods using computers should be envisaged.

It is recommended that ILCA should play a part in harmonising and standardising appropriate programmes and methods.

Item 6: Guidelines for the future

Chairman: N.G. TRAORE
Rapporteur: S. RISOPOULOS
Discussion leader: D. PRATT

6.1 Future needs

The discussion was mainly concerned with future needs. Stress was laid on the training of African personnel in view of the urgent needs in all sectors of rangeland development. The participants recommended the establishment of regional rangeland, training centres, the updating of education curricula to include subjects related to rangeland, and the organisation of re-training seminars and support missions for the preparation of programmes. A request was made for the inclusion of a training programme in any cartographic convention relating to the disciplines discussed at the seminar, and for the drafting of a list of training opportunities in specialised institutes or organisations.

On the subject of future general needs, stress was laid on knowledge of the environment, including the publication of information on flora. Emphasis was also placed on integrated inventorying and the definition (yet to be carried out) of the pluridisciplinary combination of the inventory teams.

6.2. Standardisation

It was recognised that subsequent meetings would need to deal with:

6.2.a Standardisation of the description of vegetation;

6.2.b Classification of grass formations;

6.2.c Phytogeographical nomenclature and

6.2.d General inventory methods, including socioeconomic factors.

6.3 Economic criteria

It was stressed that inventorying should be set in the general context of development and should conform to national development priorities.

6.4 Topics for research

Stress was laid on the need to draw up action programmes on the basis of existing knowledge, once a synthesis of such knowledge had been made. It was urgently recommended that the transfer of technology of research workers or inventory specialists to extension workers and technicians in the field should be speeded up.

For that purpose the participants recommended the creation of pilot projects and experimental units for pre-extension to test and promote such a transfer.

In connection with other topics of research, mention was made of the establishment of test polygons crossing various ecosystems, which could be monitored over time; and also the development of basic research programmes, especially in the fields of plant and animal physiology.

Closing speech by Dr. R.E. Hodgson

Chairman of the Board of Trustees of ILCA

Your Excellency Mr. Minister, Honorable Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen,

We have arrived at the conclusion of our conference. Now I am not an ecologist or a range-specialist, not even an agronomist. I am an animal husbandman. I think I know something about livestock and what it takes to make them productive, and herein this conference has been extremely important, because it is the vegetation of the rangelands in tropical Africa that sustains the livestock industries in this part of the world.

In our discussions I have heard the names of ecologists, agronomists, veterinarians, and so forth, but nowhere have I seen or heard the term animal husbandman, and I believe that it's time in Africa, where you have increasing numbers of animal husbandry people being trained, that this profession be recognized and that you put your animal husbandman to work. We have deliberated for nearly a week; we all thought along the same lines. We have made much progress and we can assure you that ILCA will take your suggestions and recommendations and advice under very serious consideration as the Board of Trustees and the staff formulate their programs. Now ILCA, or any other one institution, cannot do the whole job, nor do we intend to. But we intend to make a contribution over time to effect improvement in the livestock industry of the various African countries, and through that increase the animal food supplies to the people. Now, we will do this through research, through making information available, and through training programs. We will have a core-research program at our headquarters but a very large part of the work of ILCA will be carried on in the field in cooperation with interested countries and with their research and education people. In the area of training, particularly, it would seem our role to have an influence in causing the educational forces in various countries to give additional emphasis to the training of people who will be working in livestock and in range and forage production and use. But we must look to the individual countries to translate this training into action - and action is what is needed. We must prepare people and we must get them into the field where the action will take place, and this is a responsibility of the local governments.

And you people in the intermediate level, may I say, have a dual responsibility; one is to assist in training as you do your research and educational work, and to do everything possible to see that the people you train get out where the problems are and bring about improvement. The second responsibility is to keep your administrators, ministers and so forth informed and convinced that the great range areas of tropical Africa are important national resources that should be preserved and developed to the fullest. In this, we hope that ILCA can play a vital role along with you. I would like to take this opportunity to thank each and every one of you who have taken time from your important duties wherever you live to come here and to assist us in this way.

Thank you very much.

Closing speech by Dr. J.R. Pagot

Director of I.L.C.A.

Mr. Minister, Your Excellencies, Ladies, Gentlemen, Dear Colleagues,

This closing session is a little moving for me in that I see people from so many different countries; there are representatives from 19 countries, in addition to the ambassadors in this room, from all parts of the globe, who came at I.L.C.A.'s invitation to discuss the problems which you have been dealing with for more than a week. I can assure you that this gives me great satisfaction, and I would like to express to you my sincere thanks for the work which you have done and for honoring us by coming here.

In choosing Mali, we knew that we would be assured of a warm welcome. I would ask His Excellency the Minister of Production, whom we thank for being present at this session, to express our respects to the Head of State. We offer our thanks to the ambassadors, who now will be able to assert that I.L.C.A. has become a viable organisation.

At the moment we are a small group, but we hope that for our second meeting the staff of I.L.C.A. will be somewhat larger, and that you will be able to ask them rather more difficult questions.

I can assure you that the results of your work will be seriously taken into consideration by our Board of Trustees.

You have asked I.L.C.A. several times to deal with certain problems. I promised last year that we would hold this meeting, and we have held it; I hope that the requests you have made will be fulfilled, for our work is for the benefit of the whole of Africa; for the benefit of those who, as the first few verses of the Bible state, are compelled to nomadism, who sometimes have families dispersed over hundreds of kilometres for the sake of survival, who have figured prominently in news coverage, and who have in recent years suffered dreadfully. We must offer them something more than rehabilitation - and that is development.

I have been told that in this room we have had discussions among specialists, and that sometimes they did not agree. Believe me, if I had thought at the outset that you would all agree, this meeting would not have taken place. People working in very different places have been together here for as long as we were able to let them be.

Now they are going back, I like to think, happy with our work here. We have been treated as friends of our hosts, and I should like to pay a special tribute to the Chief of Protocol. Without him I do not think we would have made such a success of our meeting. He succeeded in smoothing out all our difficulties, and in welcoming us in the tradition of Malian hospitality which I came to value long ago and which I found still thriving. Those who looked round the town in their free time were welcomed everywhere they went, and I believe that this is the souvenir they will take away with them when they leave, having completed their work in such a friendly atmosphere.

Once again I should like to say to the Minister: Thank you.

Speech of gratitude by the delegate of the OAU, Dr. P. Nderito

Your Excellency, Mr. Minister,

It is my honored duty to give a vote of thanks on behalf of the delegates and the people who have attended this Conference. I find it a pleasant duty, yet I find some misgivings because I think my language, which is a foreign language, lacks the words. I would like to express and carry to you, your people and your government, the heartfelt thanks that we live with of the memory of the Republic of Mali. I think the next thing I would like to express in our thanks is the experience we are having in contact with Malians. I am sure those who took the opportunity to go to the cultural center had an experience that they are not likely to forget. I, for one, for the first time, had a fair contact as an African with their national dances. I believe I could almost do them ! I could almost understand what they are saying. That is, besides the very good dinner and entertainment we had, this was an experience we are not likely to forget. For those of us who are leaving for the excursion which has already been prepared for tomorrow, I am sure we are looking forward to yet another experience of contact with the Malians and the country in general. I am sure this has been arranged again by the Malian Government and we are grateful and look forward to it.

Perhaps, it will not be out of place for me to express here thanks, again, to the Malian Government for having accepted to become the first Government and to be a launching pad for the new International Livestock Centre for Africa, that is, ILCA. This is their first seminar and I am glad to say again, a successful one. I have no doubt that the Malian Government was brave to accept to make arrangements for this first Seminar, because you can never be too sure what is going to happen with the first baby. May I assure you, Your Excellency, that you really have become a first good launching pad. We hope that from this launching pad and the cooperation we have received from you, which if I might say, on behalf of the Organization to which you belong, we look forward to further cooperation between this Organization and other Organizations for a long time to come. We, as OAU, can assure you we will do all that is in our power to guide ILCA and work with it for a successful launching, and also for the good of livestock development, range management and other facilities and needs that might be required anywhere in Africa. May I assure you also that we have received in this meeting advice and cooperation both from within and from outside Africa. We have delegates from Europe who are our traditional friends, we have delegates from the US and Australia and elsewhere, and we look forward to seeing them again in East Africa or outside Africa, for that matter for yet another contribution and, I hope, fruitful meetings.

At this particular point Mr. Minister, Your Excellency, I would like to express our sincere thanks to you, to representatives who have been attending the meetings, to the Malian delegates and participants for their cooperation. Again, through you to your own Government and the people for their wonderful hospitality, could I assure you as we leave, I think it would not be out of place, on behalf of my delegates, to express our wish that we look forward upon any time and occasion, both within and outside Africa, when we shall be able to entertain the Malians and in a small way perhaps return their hospitality.

Closing speech by the Minister of production of the Republic of Mali

Mr. Chairman of the Board of the International Livestock Centre for Africa, Mr Director, Members of the Diplomatic Corps, Honorable Delegates:

I have been galled upon to conclude the work of the first seminar on the Evaluation and Mapping of Tropical African Rangeland - a formidable task, owing to the preeminence of the speakers who have preceded me as well as to the high standards of those who have been participants here. Research experts from five continents have been discussing for nearly a week ways to achieve better knowledge of pasturelands, better breeding methods for this zone of Africa, and more rational livestock management. I would like to say, in the name of the Military Committee for National Liberation, of the Government, and of the Malian people, that it has been a pleasure and an honor to receive you and to sponsor this seminar.

I would most particularly like to thank the Chairman of the Board and the Director of I.L.C.A., whose efforts have made this seminar possible. My thanks go as well to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, whose contribution has permitted the holding of this meeting in Bamako. I would not want to forget any delegate who has made the long trip to Bamako. Neither would I want to forget those whom one sees the least, but whose participation in the background is essential to the success of such work: the interpreters, secretaries, and personnel either Malian or foreign, who have taken such pains to satisfy the needs of the delegates.

It was a pleasure for us to hear from you that you were happy in Bamako. We received you in the spirit and simplicity characteristic of our traditions of hospitality. If modesty of means has caused any inconvenience, I am sure you will accept our apologies.

Pasturelands were the focus of your discussions. These great spaces are said to have formed the character and temperament of the Sahelian man. On an optimistic note, I would like to conclude this meeting by saying that in the midst of our sometimes very sophisticated discussions, we must never lose sight of the fact that development is achieved by man, for man. It is this that researchers must keep in mind. Surely research, sometimes very sophisticated, can make a valuable contribution - but we would be left hungry if research results were not readily applicable to development. My request in the name of the African countries is that the work of ILCA take into account this reality, and that researchers aspire first to answer the needs of development programs as they are conceived of by us. My second request concerns training. It is with high-level consultants as with may-flies: they are very pretty in their season, but once the season ends only a sad memory remains. Unless research and development programs are concerned with the education of those who are called on to take charge of projects once the experts have left, their work is in vain. Therefore I think that specialists on African countries, must be intimately associated with the formulation of research programs and their execution, in order to guarantee continuity.

I have said that I am going to end this meeting on an optimistic note, and in fact, the holding of this seminar, the very fruitful exchange of ideas, permits us to foresee a bright future for ILCA. I wish long life to this Centre.

I thank you.

ESQUISSE PASTORALE DE LA RÉGION DE MOPTI

Fig 16a

Fig 16c

Republique du Mali

Miscellaneous

Western arid region land

Pâturages du nord Sénégal

Esquisse pastorale de la region de mopti

Land systems

Carte des pâturages du nord Sénégal

Major vegetation groups

Reference


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