Mobilizing Human Energy
Niger was all but given a death sentence in the 1970s when drought-propelled desertification, rapid population growth, and unsustainable farming practices threatened ecological collapse and mass human suffering. Women on average each gave birth to more than seven children, and the population was expected to double in the next two decades. Families who had worked their land for generations could see the tell-tale signs: it was taking longer and longer to get to trees and fresh water, and the Sahara desert was getting closer and closer.
Thirty years later there is startling evidence of a turnaround, thanks to changes undertaken beginning in the mid-1980s.
This case study by Future Generation's Jason Calder was published in The Worldwatch Institute's 2008 State of the World, available at: http://www.worldwatch.org/node/5568
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