2 Sep 2013

Video: Birds and people - Living on the Edge in the Sahel

By Shaun Hurrell

Birds and people in the Sahel rely on the same natural resources: trees, water, land. They are living on the edge, for here, the landscape is also changing.

Every year, an incredible 2 billion migratory birds travel from Europe to Africa to spend the winter. They fly thousands of kilometers, some in only a few days. After crossing the Sahara, they arrive in the Sahel, still green but with the dry season approaching fast. Population increase and urbanisation increase the pressure on natural resources through overgrazing and unsustainable wood cutting. Hydrodams change river flood patterns and turn floodplains into drylands. Large-scale schemes for agriculture and biofuels alter habitats over thousands of hectares.

BirdLife partners, volunteers and local people in the Sahel are striving to counter these effects. This video shows how rural communities are being enabled to use natural resources more sustainably, both restoring natural habitats and improving their livelihoods.



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The video was launched as part of the Natural Livelihoods workshop at the BirdLife World Congress in Ottawa, June 2013.

View another Natrual Livelihoods video: Ecological, economic and intrinsic values of forests - at Natewa Tunuloa Important Bird Area in Fiji

2 more videos from the Natural Livelihoods workshop will be released soon.

Part of BirdLife International's Local Empowerment Programme.