Action Against Desertification

The Road of Science: from Africa to Europe

Africa's role in spreading natural resource management techniques to Europe


Ankara - Combating desertification and adaptation to climate change have been part of the way of life of people from the Sahara and Sahel since times immemorial. Over the centuries, they have displayed great of inventiveness and ingenuity to manage scarce natural resources and live in harmony with an inhospitable environment.

A side-event at COP12 in Ankara highlighted Africa’s contributions to development in Europe, focusing in particular on the management of natural resources during the Al Andalus period.

We often forget that the Maghreb-Sahel region made considerable contributions to the progress of humanity and to the richness of nations, particularly those in Europe. The African Road of Science, which originated in the Middle East and Asia, passed through the Maghreb-Sahel region before blossoming in Al Andalus and wider parts of Europe.

Knowledge of the historical relations between peoples, acknowledging their mutual contributions, as well as the understanding that they have a shared destiny, are means to promote peace and fight poverty and racism.

In the light of the dramatic situation of migrants crossing the Mediterranean today, it is high time to be mindful of the need for solidarity on the basis of our common historical heritage and common values.