This is one of the pictures the year has left. In it, two Muslim militiamen armed with machetes are registering a Christian in the Miskine neighborhood, in Bangui (Central African Republic), December 13, 2013. About 1,600 and 3,000 French soldiers already there of the African MISCA international mission were not able to stop violence and chaos.
Both in this case and in other armed conflicts, there are political motivations, ultimately rooted in inequality and poverty.
The maps below are a series edited by GRID Arendal that, at least, invite us to think. It’s the first thing I show my students every year when I start my course on Soil Science at the university and I encourage them to discuss their reasons and responsibility as soil scientists. I also invite you to take a look. Original sources include detailed descriptions, images and PDFs.
Is poverty in West Africa related with soil quality?
Finally, some statistics. These graphs do not show clear trends, probably because land degradation indicators need much more detail and spatial resolution than currently.
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This post was also published simultaneously in G-Soil.