Cuba Rescues Areas Damaged by Desertification

Cuba Rescues Areas Damaged by DesertificationPinar del Río, Cuba, May 6. -Cuban scientists are currently promoting a project for sustainable land management in the southern plain of the province, which suffers the consequences of desertification and drought.

The project was launched at a time when Pinar del Rio is feeling the effects of the most severe dry season over the last decade, keeping the reservoirs at 31 percent of their capacity.

At three sites in the plain works have already begun to rehabilitate soils, measures to be extended soon in the rest of the area damaged by the processes of degradation, the Program Coordinator, Carmen Rosa Montano, told Prensa Latina.

Montano said that selected sites belong to the municipality of Sandino, Los Palacios and Consolacion del Sur, often affected by hurricanes.

One of the strategies to stop desertification is the eradication of exotic species, considered invasive, and planting native varieties with the help of specialists from the forestry sector, and the use of organic fertilizer, said Montano.

Monitoring of drought using weather variables is another priority, alongside the use of an early warning system with the assistance of experts from the Provincial Forecast Station, which will mitigate the effects of natural phenomena, said Montano.

The participation of local residents is crucial to repair the damage, which is why training workshops are held in communities, for reflecting on the steps for the restoration and care of the plain.

Sponsored by the Global Environment Fund, the project plans to expand to other places where needed, said Montano.

The indiscriminate cutting of vegetation to promote crops such as tobacco and increased soil salinity by contact between the groundwater are some of the causes that led to the deterioration of soils in the area.

Actions in Pinar del Rio strengthen the national program to combat desertification and drought, applied also in the eastern provinces of the country. (Prensa Latina)