Human needs and environmental over-exploitation
Namai, H. W
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The chapter examines the main causes of environmental degradation vis-à-vis human needs in rural Africa and suggests possible remedies. It cites the causes of degradation as being traditional farming methods, cash crop monoculture, the persistence of pastoralism, the destruction of forests and encroaching occupancy. Each of these is described along with the reasons why it is so harmful to the environment. The paper then discusses both the need to prevent further degradation, and cure the damage already done. It makes ten recommendations on how to achieve these aims. These include, for example, that shifting cultivators and nomadic pastoralists should be educated towards settled activities, setting aside enough land for food crops before planting the rest with cash crops, or that sub-Saharan African governments should consider firm legislation against such actions as forest destruction, cultivating steep slopes and grazing in protected areas.