Juan Palao Iturregui of the Consejo Andino de Manejo Ecol�gico spoke on behalf of Latin American NGOs. He summarized how changing economic and land management policies in Peru have diminished the productive potential of the land and the people. He cited how programmes aimed at increasing production of rice and sugar for export failed due to the high production costs and competition from other countries like Malaysia and Thailand. These programmes also led to desertification of the Peruvian coast. He explained how NGOs have joined efforts in the region to find joint approaches and strategies to implement grassroots projects that are aimed at sustainable crop production.
Mamadou Lamine Thiam of FAVDO spoke on behalf of African NGOs. His presentation focused on a case study aimed at combatting desertification in Senegal. He provided the historical background, explaining how colonial and, after independence, national agriculture policies favored cash crops. This led to land degradation, reduction in grazing lands, reduction in water holes, climate change, and drought. To combat desertification, NGOs have worked on a number of projects including reforestation and soil conservation. He spoke about a project of the African Network for Integrated Development that distributed saplings to local people and thus encouraged people to find solutions to land degradation in their communities.
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