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Title:Environment and development: an essential link for sustainable development
Author:Mushala, Hezekiel M.
Book title:Africa in transformation: political and economic transformations and socio-economic development responses in Africa
Geographic term:Southern Africa
Abstract:Desertification is an example of environmental degradation that cannot be resolved unless it is treated as part of an overall national development strategy. A review of the status of desertification in southern Africa and an assessment of nationwide efforts in Botswana, Lesotho, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe to combat the problem indicate that many of the projects aimed at desertification control failed to achieve their objectives. There was an improper diagnosis of the propulsive socioeconomic factors and institutional causes of desertification, the emphasis of most projects was on technical solutions to the neglect of wider socioeconomic aspects, there was a failure on the part of the implementing authorities to appreciate the social organization and culture of the local people, and to acknowledge their indigenous knowledge and experience. Some governments resorted to coercion to implement projects. It is clear that policymakers in southern Africa have problems in understanding the serious nature of the threat of continued desertification. Bibliogr. (p. 219-236), notes, ref.