The implementation of silvo-pastoral inter-village spaces (see Figure 1) is an endogenous initiative developed by local communities in the groundnut basin of Senegal. Its aim is to address the combined effects of climate change and resource degradation (Sanogo et al., 2014). According to Touré and Kremer (2002), the concept of ‘closed area’ corresponds to all consensual measures taken by local populations to rehabilitate and maintain the silvo-pastoral resources of a given area of their land in order to produce ecological, socio-economic and cultural benefits in a sustainable manner. This results in restricted access to and use of resources within the area for a certain period of time to allow for the regeneration of the vegetation and rehabilitation of ecosystem services.
The main objective of the initiative is to improve the livelihoods of vulnerable rural populations living in ecologically fragile areas of Senegal through the sustainable management of community inter-village silvo-pastoral reserves. This practice has also shown to improve soil carbon sequestration and the resilience of local species (Diouf et al., 2014). Forest products (wood and non-wood products) from these areas increasingly provide sustainable sources of incomes for rural populations. In the groundnut basin, there exist a number of species and products with high socio-economic potential. In addition, these areas provide environmental services, for example through reducing erosion and improving soil fertility (Sanogo, 2011).
The initiative constitutes a good practice due to the strong involvement of the local population, the enablement of the participation of women in all activities, the effectiveness of the measures taken as well as the potential for replicability of the latter.