What impact do displaced people and refugees have on the place where they eke out their living from resources under pressure? Is land degradation due to natural factors or to the people on the edge?
Most policies concerning the settlement of nomads, peasants, refugees, internally displaced persons and returnees fail to take into account their impact on the environment.
Gaim Kibreab questions the degree of the impact of Eritreans displaced by war with Ethiopia on a region of the Sudan. Was the land degradation on and around the scheme due to humans and their livestock? The study provides evidence to question many assumptions.
How do the people respond to loss of income due to land degradation? Do they become more innovative and more responsive to changes in agricultural techniques? Or do their land use practices become ever more exploitative?
"... it is one of the best in-depth studies of land use in Africa that I have come across, and it is certainly important to demonstrate in detail how non-demographic factors are the ultimate causes of resource depletion." - Tim Allen, Co-Editor of When Refugees Go Home
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
GAIM KIBREAB is a Research Associate in the Department of Economic History, Uppsala University.
Economics, Development Studies, Sociology/AFRICA