Expansion of the world population is one of the primary reasons for an increased demand on land resources. Exacerbated by climate change, this puts major constraints to sustainable land management. Occurrence of natural disasters significantly increased in the past 40 years, directly affecting the population through the events itself or indirectly through loss of agricultural production. Countries try to deal with these global trends in their own way, pending their priorities, resources and level of development.
In Europe, agriculture is regulated by the EC’s Common Agricultural Policy. Farmers are mostly protected against abnormal conditions and calamities and are supported through the government or specific agricultural insurances in case of exceptional conditions leading to harvest failure.
In Africa crop and rangeland systems are less well understood and the resilience after disasters is low, directly affecting the livelihoods of vulnerable populations. Food aid and development programmes are designed to remedy the worst situations and formulate actions towards sustainable land management and development.
Although challenges are different from one country to another there is one major commonality:
the need for transparent and reliable information on agriculture and the agro-environment