Sustainable Silvopastoral Restoration to Promote Ecosystem Services in Tunisia Project Final Report
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Silvopastoral systems hold enormous promise for addressing multiple issues facing livestock farmers in semi-arid regions of the Middle-East Near-Africa (MENA) region. Whole, the mismanagement of natural resources and other socioeconomic aspects led to a major degradation of the natural resource base. There are many million hectares affected by desertification, where annual pasture production does not exceed a few dozen kg DM/ha. This has given rise to the need to implement sustainable silvopastoral practices, which incorporate the planting and growth of native vegetation as well as utilization by livestock in a manner which integrates the future productive capacity of such systems. Thus, the successful establishment and management of silvopastoral systems, a mutually beneficial practice of integrating trees, forage, and the grazing of domesticated animals, has the potential to provide multiple ecosystem services and outputs for rural communities. For these systems to be sustainable, the participation of both men and women should be ensured to harness innovative capacities and create long-term mitigation effects of climate change and increasing human pressure. This report provides an early assessment (after 18 months) of adopting a participatory/multidisciplinary approach for implementing a silvopastoral production system to promote the delivery of ecosystem services in Sbaihia, Zaghouan, Tunisia. Over time the benefits/impacts of the various interventions would increase as the afforestation efforts (shrubs and trees) will be fully established and ready for use.