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Less trees in Soudano-Sahelian landscapes, less safety nets for rural livelihoods?

Gautier D., Koffi K.C., Djoudi H., Locatelli B.. 2013. Los Angeles : AAG, 1 p.. AAG Annual Meeting 2013, 2013-04-09/2013-04-13, Los Angeles (Etats-Unis).

The Soudano-Sahelian environment has been shaped by human practices responding to changes in urban demands, public policies and climatic variability. In a context of exposure to multiples changes and stressors, people have developed coping and adapting livelihoods strategies based on the diversity of ecosystems in their territories or the surroundings (permanent agricultural fields under parklands, temporary fields, fallows, savannas and grassland). This paper aims at analyzing to what extent tree ecosystems act as safety nets for people to meet their needs in Burkina Faso. We analyzed vulnerability through surveys at farm and individual levels and we assessed the woody resource in villages' territories. We selected villages with different levels of woody resources availability and different levels of right and access to these resources. Initial results show that people's coping or adapting strategies rely barely on woody resources and that households and individuals with different access to resources use almost similar strategies. Although most local people claim that deforestation is affecting livelihoods, it seems that most livelihoods are adapting to the loss of woody resources by developing strategies that rely on the diversity of ecological assets in landscapes as well as other human and social assets.

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