Impact of Land Use on Biodiversity in the Savanna Zone of West Africa
Biodiversity is a very important aspect of the natural resources of West African savanna and it is affected by land use. Savanna has traditionally been used for animal husbandry but with the shortage of agricultural land in moist zones, large-scale crop agriculture is being intensified in all the savanna zones. Agricultural expansion and intensification have resulted in reduction of crop diversity and encroached on conservation areas. Conservation efforts through the system of reservation have not been vigorous and current trends of loss of biodiversity will continue unless alternatives to Reserves are found. The Biosphere Reserves Concept initiated by UNESCO offer means of utilizing natural resources in a sustainable manner. The Concept is discussed in relation to the problem of biodiversity conservation in West Africa.