The International Symposium on Sustainable Land Management was held in Ouagadougou, the capital of Burkina Faso, West Africa, from May 17-20, 2021. This was the third symposium, following the first held in 2010 and and the second in 2018. The objective of the symposium was to share new scientific knowledge and information on sustainable land management among researchers, policy makers, development support organizations, farmers and the private sector, and to identify mechanisms to achieve sustainable land management. The symposium was organized by the Soil Science Society of Burkina Faso (SSS-BF), co-sponsored by the National Academy of Arts, Culture and Science of Burkina Faso (ANSAL-BF) and the Interstate Standing Committee for Drought Control in the Sahel (CILSS), and supported by JIRCAS and the Japanese Society for Tropical Agriculture.
The theme of the symposium was "Access to agricultural inputs for sustainable land management: Challenges faced by small-scale farmers" and there were 79 research presentations on soil fertility, soil contamination, soil degradation and socio-economic assessment, and 7 poster presentations. A total of 340 participants came from Burkina Faso, Benin, Cote d'Ivoire, Ghana, Japan, Madagascar, Mali, Morocco, Niger, Senegal, and Togo.
Among them, seven JIRCAS research achievements were presented by co-researchers from the National Institute of Environment and Agricultural Research (INERA), a long-time collaborating institution. These include four research outputs from the “SATREPS Burkina Faso Project” currently being conducted in collaboration with INERA, two research outputs from the “Watershed Management in Africa” project conducted during the 4th Medium- to Long-term Plan period (2016-2020), and one research output from the “Food Security in Africa” project.
In addition, as a supporting organization, a booth with the theme of “Cooperation between Burkina Faso and Japan” was set up where posters and pamphlets introducing JIRCAS, SATREPS, JICA, the Japanese Society for Tropical Agriculture, and the JIRCAS-INERA joint research project were displayed and distributed. Minister Salif Ouedoraogo of the Ministry of Agriculture and Water Resources visited our booth and we were able to demonstrate Japan's research initiatives in Burkina Faso.
Through this symposium, the sense of urgency regarding land degradation was strongly shared and the decision was made to establish a “Sub-regional center of excellence on sustainable land management” in West Africa. INERA researchers will be strongly involved in this research center. Through INERA, which will play a major role in this sub-regional center, it is expected that the results of the joint research with JIRCAS will be widely known and disseminated.
SATREPS: Science and Technology Research Partnership for Sustainable Development