1. Assessing the Environmental Impact of Climate Change on Desert Ecosystems: A Review

    Latifa S. Al-Blooshi1, Salem Issa2, Taoufik Ksiksi3

    1. Biology Department – UAE University, PO. Box 15551, Al-Ain, UAE.
    2. Geology Department – UAE University, PO. Box 15551, Al-Ain, UAE.
    3. Biology Department – UAE University, PO. Box 15551, Al-Ain, UAE.

    Abstract: Human population is interrelated with the demand of fuel, water and food. This is consequently leading to increasing rates of energy use and therefore greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Globally, the atmospheric concentrations of GHG have increased by approximately 35% for carbon dioxide, 148% for methane, and 14% for nitrous oxide. Desert ecosystems, in particular, are highly variable and unpredictable, where organisms and humans have utilized arid environments regardless of their naturally uncertain availability of resources. The fast spread of desertification has led to environmental degradation, unstable local political situations and economic losses. The extreme weather events in the past two decades caused many loses in terms of ecosystem alteration, economic impacts as well as social influences. Dryland communities adapt to dynamic climatic and environmental conditions due to rainfall variability. Unfortunately, climate change impact is not fully understood. The effects of climate change on species diversity is generally slow, but these effects are expected to show rapid progress over the next 50 years and beyond. Remote sensing and GIS based models allow simulating the change in particular landscape elements over time and space, and investigating different types of future scenarios. The information represented in this paper aims to give a review and discussion of the impact of climate change on arid and semi-arid regions to the researchers, ecologists and decision makers. There is a lack of resources about the impact of climate change on the Arabian Gulf region in particular. Therefore, we hope that this review will simulate researchers in the region and worldwide to conduct their research and focus their studies on this region.

    Keywords: Carbon dioxide, Climate change, Deserts, Ecosystems, Soil.

    Pages: 27 – 52 | Full PDF Paper
  2. Incentives for Reforestation and Forest’s Plantations Option, under the National Strategy of REDD+Program in Sudan

    Somaya Omer Magzoub Abdoun

    Afforestation Administration, Forests National Corporation, Khartoum-Sudan, 2018.

    Abstract: The assignment worked on the direction of elaborating the efforts done in regard to afforestation and reforestation (A/R) programs carried out by Forests National Corporation (FNC), within its strategies and mandate, with special concern to the period from 1990 till 2017. The assignment builds upon, desk review to the related documents, in-depth data collection and analysis, formal and informal contact with concerned persons, observations, using excel spread sheet for data analysis, as well as SWOT analysis, coming out with findings that; Sudan is one of the low vegetation cover countries, of an annual removal to about 1.6 %. The current vegetation cover after south Sudan secession was highly decreased from 40% to only 10.3% of the Sudan total area, out of which 4.9 % is the reserved forests. To achieve the strategic plan goal calling to increase the forest cover up to 20% by 2032, an area of about 75 million feddan must be targeted. Enhanced total cultivated area was achieved for the whole period (1990-2014) reached about 2877.2 thousands feddan, out of it about 2012.3 thousands feddan, community based plantation, while the official one is reported as 1429.8 thousands feddan for the whole 24th years. The promoted cultivation process, is attributed to the enhanced awareness and mainstreamed participatory approach due to the efforts done by FNC, funded projects, NGOs among others, as well as observed adoption of biomass energy alternatives, such as improved stoves and LPGs. The adoption of the 10% &5% policy in the agricultural lands is proved to be the best practice potentially enriched the forest cover.  Increased annual planned targets, were recorded in the period from 1990 till 2018, as the A/R inputs were increased, consequently the annual targeted plantation area increased from 10,000 feddan in the eighteenth to 473,176 feddan in 2017, and up to 750,630 feddan in 2018 (within FNC annual budget) and up to 1 million feddan including funded projects, investment &others. Based upon this fact, the annually targeted area by FNC is far lag behind to reach the 20% goal.  The key challenges identified and considered on the top of the drivers hindering plantation, is the lack of secured adequate mobilized fund in due time, along with the absence of national land use frame work or strategic plan to organize the land use system in a way that enabling each sector to satisfy their needs and priorities. On the other hand, many opportunities are available to accomplish the A/R programs, such as the vast unutilized lands, amount to about 41.1million feddans, coupled by availability of different water resources which will positively contribute to elevate the forest cover, if the called upon needed measures are in place. Future perspectives, incentives and innovative initiatives which will far foster the sustainability of the A/R programs, were suggested such as provision of meaningful incentives like cash payment to prompt the arid land forests users, in addition to provide them with essential services, such as irrigation water, land physical measures, energy alternatives, among others.  Building upon the international/ national plans and strategies, the forestry sector has to set up, a realistic strategic plan, to push the reserved forests lands towards sustainable forest management, promoted A/R programs addressing crucially, required financial institutional and policy gaps, to better shape the process.

    Pages: 53 – 85 | Full PDF Paper