The DESIRE WB3 process
The DESIRE-WOCAT method to assess
promising SLM technologies and facilitate their
adoption and dissemination
The case of the Sehoul region, Morocco
MOROCCAN DESIRE TEAM
The Sehoul Plateau is located between the Mamora forest in
the north, and the Grou valley in the south West.
It is a part of the Palaeozoic Atlantic Meseta
The Sehoul region, an agro-pastoral system
In the pastures and forests, over-grazing leads to
the degradation of the vegetation cover and to the
reduction of palatable species;
In the cultivated area, the problems are more related
to techniques of land use, not adapted to the
climate, to the weak soils and to the slope
The Sehoul region, an agro-pastoral system
Actually the proliferation of fences, the structuration of
plots by irrigation and new perennial crops such as olive
trees remove animals to the marginal area leading to more
catastrophic erosion in multiple forms.
the abandonment of the most degraded lands and flood in
The forest becomes subject to depredation by uncontrolled
use. Its restoration through assisted regeneration is not
yet leading to widespread ecological restoration.
An individualistic behavior of the farmers and a weak
involvement in any action, those promoted by the
government, but also the participatory action developed in
the DESIRE project
The goal of the 1st workshop was to:
Initiate collaboration and mutual learning among
local and external participants of the DESIRE
To identify existing and new strategies to prevent or
mitigate land degradation and desertification and
select some of them to evaluate their efficiency.
The workshop identified a set of technologies which
we decided to assess using the WOCAT tools.
Based on 3 most promising solutions identified in
stakeholder workshop 1.
Use of the internationally recognized WOCAT
questionnaires on SLM technologies and approaches.
Interactive between land users and experts.
Q‘s help to understand reasons behind successful or
failure, own experiences.
Standardized assessment and documentation, allow
Access to a global database.
Basis for knowledge sharing.
Assessment (May – October 2008)
Photo Gudrun Schwilch
Agronomic, vegetative, structural, management
To control land degradation and enhance
productivity in the field
Questionnaire: (light, basic, professional)
(what are the specification…, where is it used )
Description and specifications of the technology purpose,
classification, design and costs
Natural and human environment
Benefits, advantages and disadvantages,
Ways and means of support that help introduce,
implement, adapt and apply technologies
Focus on implementation
Questionnaire: (how T. was imple..?, who achieved it?)
objectives, operation, participation by land users,
financing and direct and indirect subsidies,
monitoring and evaluation methods,
QT and QA complement each other
of cork oak
The assessed SLM technologies
I- Crop rotation: Cereal / Leguminous
Compared to the monoculture of cereal, it has the advantage of :
• Providing the capitalization of land use and improve people's food
• Allowing better water and soil conservation,
• Improving yields and income per hectare
• Increasing soil protection by providing better cover 65,5%
• Enhancing the structure of the arable layer
• Improving the resistance of soil to compaction and limiting the
• Improving soil moisture
• Increasing the nitrogen content and organic matter
But it requires a lot of labour
Dominance of cereals in land use
bean/wheat wheat/bean Wheat/chick peas oats /wheat Barley/barley
Compaction Capacity Penetrometr(Kg/cm3)
Mecanic Resistance Torvan (Kg/cm3)
bean/wheat wheat/bean Wheat/chick
oats / wheat Barley/barley
II- Rained fruit trees
The olive assures a permanent covering of soil on average
66% of the soil surface; whereas the seasonal covering of
rotation Cereal / Cereal does not exceed 52%, with rills in
In the olive plot, runoff becomes scarce related to the
alignment of trees, the installation of catchment, the contour
ploughing and the conservation of crop residues.
Improves the soil and organic matter
However, this choice makes the removal of livestock
necessary: this is why, rainfed tree plantations do not seem
to be a viable alternative in this region.
III - Assisted regeneration of cork oak
Inside the forest, the social situation of the population
explains the rapid retreat and clearing of the vegetation
cover, the non natural regeneration of cork oak and the
spread of poor species
The assisted regeneration had proved to be a promising
alternative for two reasons:
it reduces the degradation by improving soil structure, reducing
surface crust and enriching the soil with organic matter,
therefore allowing a better infiltration.
it increases plant biodiversity and plant biomass, improves
fodder quality and restores the grass carpet and pasture
Eu Pin CL
CL Clair CL
Herbacées Arbustes Nbre espèce /m2-2009
Difficulty to quantify costs and benefits
Demanding work, but enriching:
new insights into applied technologies +
2nd workshop – December 2008
The 2nd workshop had as objectives :
To select promising strategies for SLM to be tested and monitored
during at least 2 years.
To strengthen trust and collaboration among involved stakeholders, in
order to assure the adoption and dissemination of the successfully
The evaluation results were presented to the stakeholders who
discussed their validity, with the aim to select the most positive
Eight options were presented and ranked depending on their
In all cases, farmers’ choice goes with cereal crops with livestock,
that is to say, the maintenance of the current system.
After several attempts, it was finally possible for them to accept the
idea of introducing a few innovations:
Planting fodder shrubs in heavily degraded marginal lands,
Improving grain culture by the technique of mulching and
minimum or no tillage.
Crop rotation Cereal / Leguminous seems to be a good
strategy to use in Sehoul. But there is need for
providing fodder for livestock. The cost of labour and
the availability of workers is a problem.
Planting fruit trees is also a good opportunity, but it
excludes the flocks from the planted plots, which must
In the end, the results of the participative
approach experiments have not been
satisfactory. Indeed, what seemed to be a
success of the participative methodology only
proved to be a mere provisory acceptance. In
fact, the dynamics remain driven by what the
farmer believes to be for his best interest,
but which actually is a very short term vision.