Afforestation [Cape Verde]

Arborização / floresta (Portuguese)

technologies_1523 - Cape Verde

Completeness: 84%

1. General information

1.2 Contact details of resource persons and institutions involved in the assessment and documentation of the Technology

Key resource person(s)

SLM specialist:
SLM specialist:

Varela Larissa


Cape Verde

SLM specialist:

Amarós Regla


Cape Verde

SLM specialist:

Bentub Jailson


Cape Verde

Name of project which facilitated the documentation/ evaluation of the Technology (if relevant)
Name of the institution(s) which facilitated the documentation/ evaluation of the Technology (if relevant)
INIDA (INIDA) - Cape Verde

1.3 Conditions regarding the use of data documented through WOCAT

The compiler and key resource person(s) accept the conditions regarding the use of data documented through WOCAT:


1.4 Declaration on sustainability of the described Technology

Is the Technology described here problematic with regard to land degradation, so that it cannot be declared a sustainable land management technology?


1.5 Reference to Questionnaire(s) on SLM Approaches (documented using WOCAT)

2. Description of the SLM Technology

2.1 Short description of the Technology

Definition of the Technology:

Afforestation is one of the key technologies to address the fragility of ecosystems: it provides better protection against erosion and makes better use of rainfall in order to maintain the sustainability of agricultural systems.

2.2 Detailed description of the Technology


Mountain forest areas are considered protective due to their role in regulating water (infiltration of storm water, regulation of surface runoff, and ground water recharge) within the watershed. The main species used are Prosopis juliflora, Parkinsonia aculeata, Jatropha curcas, Atriplex spp, Acacia holosericea, Acacia victoriae, Lantana camara and others, in arid areas and Eucalyptus camaldulensis, Grevillea robusta, Pinus and Cupressus ssp. in highland and humid areas.

Purpose of the Technology: The climatic conditions are characterized by high spatial and temporal variability of the rainfall. The rains are concentrated in two or three months (August and September or October); the highlands and the N-NE parts are wetter compared to the low lands or coastal areas, which are very dry. The average annual rainfall is about 225 mm over the whole island; it has declined since the 1960s, with negative effects on farming conditions, and water supply. However, in areas located more than 500 m above sea level and exposed to trade winds, rainfall can exceed 700 mm. About 20% of the precipitation is lost through runoff, 13% infiltrates the soil and recharges aquifers and 67% evaporates. The evaporation loss is a limiting factor for any agriculture or forestry. Therefore, it is necessary to adapt the afforestation implementation to the specific local conditions (slope, stone cover, climate, etc). To overcome and minimize the problem of water scarcity, several measures are applied: (a) caldeira or half-moon structures achieved with earth or stone; (b) contour furrows or level bench terraces with stone walls arranged along the contour; (c). small dams to protect gullies. The aim is to maximize retention of water and control surface runoff. This not only allows better infiltration of water for the tree plantations, but also protects against soil erosion and facilitates groundwater recharge.

Establishment / maintenance activities and inputs: The success of the reforestation may be indicated not only by the area covered but also by the number of introduced plants. In 1975, there were about 3,000 ha of afforested land. By 2011, there are over 90,000 ha of afforested land with almost 50 million trees. Afforestation has focused mainly on the island of Santiago and Santo Antão, (13% of the total area reforested). Nowadays, more than 20% of the country is afforested. The forest has had a great importance in the context of combating desertification, rehabilitation of vegetation cover, in meeting energy needs and forage production and in developing agrosilvopastoral systems, as well as having undoubtedly contributed to a significant modification of the landscape in Cape Verde. The afforestation activities also contributed to increase biodiversity of some species of birds, including “Galinha di mato” (Numida meleagris), “Codorniz” (Coturnix coturnix), “Passarinha” (Halcyon leucocephala) and others.

Natural / human environment: The forest species are mainly used for land protection and for production of fuel wood and coal. Because of the poor growing conditions, the forest species are not well suited to the construction industry or wood processing.

2.3 Photos of the Technology

2.5 Country/ region/ locations where the Technology has been applied and which are covered by this assessment


Cape Verde

Region/ State/ Province:

Santiago Island, Cape Verde

Further specification of location:

Ribeira Seca

Specify the spread of the Technology:
  • evenly spread over an area
If the Technology is evenly spread over an area, specify area covered (in km2):



Total area covered by the SLM Technology is 71.5 km2
The forest with the greatest density of trees occupies an area of 2.51 km2 and is located in the area of higher altitude. The density decreases with decrease in altitude

2.6 Date of implementation

If precise year is not known, indicate approximate date:
  • 10-50 years ago

2.7 Introduction of the Technology

Specify how the Technology was introduced:
  • through projects/ external interventions
Comments (type of project, etc.):

Before 1975, the forestry production was directed to the market of wood, after 1975 began to stock in order to protect the environment

3. Classification of the SLM Technology

3.1 Main purpose(s) of the Technology

  • reduce, prevent, restore land degradation
  • conserve ecosystem

3.2 Current land use type(s) where the Technology is applied

Land use mixed within the same land unit:


Specify mixed land use (crops/ grazing/ trees):
  • Silvo-pastoralism

Grazing land

Grazing land

Intensive grazing/ fodder production:
  • Cut-and-carry/ zero grazing
Animal type:
  • goats
  • cows
Forest/ woodlands

Forest/ woodlands

  • Tree plantation, afforestation
Tree plantation, afforestation: Specify origin and composition of species:
  • Mixed varieties
Type of tree plantation, afforestation:
  • tropical mountain systems plantation - Eucalyptus spp.
  • tropical mountain systems plantation - Pinus spp.
Type of tree:
  • Acacia species
  • Cupressus species
  • Eucalyptus camaldulensis
  • Grevillea robusta
  • Pinus species
  • Prosopis juliflora, Parkinsonia aculeata, Jatropha curcas, Atriplex spp, Lantana camara
Products and services:
  • Nature conservation/ protection

Major land use problems (compiler’s opinion): The loss of soil by runoff, influenced by its low coverage, reducing their fertility and their thickness

Major land use problems (land users’ perception): Soil erosion by runoff, low productive soils, low organic matter, low soil cover, fertility and depth particularly in the agro-systems with rainfed agriculture.

Cut-and-carry/ zero grazing: goats/ cows

Grazingland comments: production is characterized as extensive, although made in a closed expaço

Plantation forestry: Few trees are cut, since the main objective of which is the forest canopy. The dead are removed, make's some clean and plant new trees every year.

Problems / comments regarding forest use: Before 1975, date of independence of Cape Verde, began to stock the areas discovered. The forest is more dense at high altitudes but also introduced

Forest products and services: nature conservation / protection

Future (final) land use (after implementation of SLM Technology): Mixed: Ms: Silvo-pastoralism

Type of grazing system comments: production is characterized as extensive, although made in a closed expaço

Number of growing seasons per year: 1
Longest growing period in days: 90
Longest growing period from month to month: August untill October
Livestock density : 25-50 LU /km2

The main species used are Prosopis juliflora, Parkinsonia aculeata, Jatropha curcas, Atriplex spp, Acacia holosericea, Acacia victoriae, Lantana camara and others, in arid areas and Eucalyptus camaldulensis, Grevillea robusta, Pinus and Cupressus ssp. in highland and humid areas.

3.3 Has land use changed due to the implementation of the Technology?

Has land use changed due to the implementation of the Technology?
  • Yes (Please fill out the questions below with regard to the land use before implementation of the Technology)


3.4 Water supply

Water supply for the land on which the Technology is applied:
  • rainfed

3.5 SLM group to which the Technology belongs

  • natural and semi-natural forest management
  • irrigation management (incl. water supply, drainage)

3.6 SLM measures comprising the Technology

vegetative measures

vegetative measures

  • V1: Tree and shrub cover
structural measures

structural measures

  • S2: Bunds, banks

Secondary measures: structural measures

3.7 Main types of land degradation addressed by the Technology

soil erosion by water

soil erosion by water

  • Wt: loss of topsoil/ surface erosion
  • Wg: gully erosion/ gullying
biological degradation

biological degradation

  • Bc: reduction of vegetation cover
  • Bh: loss of habitats
water degradation

water degradation

  • Hg: change in groundwater/aquifer level

Secondary types of degradation addressed: Hg: change in groundwater / aquifer level

Main causes of degradation: soil management (It is cultivated maize and peanuts on land slopes very pronounced and boot up the plants by the root in end of the cycle), crop management (annual, perennial, tree/shrub) (The cleaning of the crop residues of corn is done pulling them by the root, negatively affecting soil stability), poverty / wealth (Leads sensitized peoples to advocate action against the landscape for survival of the family), education, access to knowledge and support services (Knowledge and technical training increase the options for means of survival of the community that acts on the forest, the degree of attending school is low and the illiteracy rate is 17%)

Secondary causes of degradation: overgrazing (Creation of the wild animals compact the soil, destroying the structures for the conservation of soil and water exists, and creates conflict), disturbance of water cycle (infiltration / runoff), Heavy / extreme rainfall (intensity/amounts) (Sometimes occur heavy rains intensity that associated with poor vegetation cover, increase soil erosion), governance / institutional (Lack of applicability of the laws that manage the land)

3.8 Prevention, reduction, or restoration of land degradation

Specify the goal of the Technology with regard to land degradation:
  • restore/ rehabilitate severely degraded land

4. Technical specifications, implementation activities, inputs, and costs

4.1 Technical drawing of the Technology

Technical specifications (related to technical drawing):

Treatment of slope before afforestation

Technical knowledge required for field staff / advisors: moderate (It's needed sufficient knowledge to choice species according to their suitability to the natural and human environment)

Technical knowledge required for land users: low

Main technical functions: control of raindrop splash, improvement of ground cover, stabilisation of soil (eg by tree roots against land slides), increase of infiltration, increase of groundwater level / recharge of groundwater

Secondary technical functions: increase in organic matter, increase / maintain water stored in soil, reduction in wind speed

Retention/infiltration ditch/pit, sediment/sand trap
Vertical interval between structures (m): 2
Spacing between structures (m): 5
Depth of ditches/pits/dams (m): 0.2
Width of ditches/pits/dams (m): 0.8
Length of ditches/pits/dams (m): 100
Height of bunds/banks/others (m): 0.4
Width of bunds/banks/others (m): 0.4
Length of bunds/banks/others (m): 100

Construction material (earth): land from the local construction of the ditch is used in the construction of banks, that can be rein

Slope (which determines the spacing indicated above): 30 - 60%

Lateral gradient along the structure: 0%

For water harvesting: the ratio between the area where the harvested water is applied and the total area from which water is collected is: 1:3

Vegetation is used for stabilisation of structures.


Jacques Tavares

4.3 Establishment activities

Activity Timing (season)
1. Quantification of the area to be afforested
2. Production of plants in nursery ( 500 - 1300 plants)
3. Treatment of area (slope) with building terraces (15 m / person / day)
4. Treatment of area (slope) with: Making half-moons “Caldeiras” (3 / person / day)
5. 4.Excavating the pits (10 / person / day): 60x60x60 cm
6. Planting (50 /person / day): 5 to 5 metres
7. Initial maintenance (8 /persons / day)
8. Cleaning and marking on curves level In April
9. Construction of the retention / infiltration ditch and opening of the surface of culture April to June

4.4 Costs and inputs needed for establishment

Specify input Unit Quantity Costs per Unit Total costs per input % of costs borne by land users
Labour Labour ha 1.0 28218.0 28218.0
Equipment Tools ha 1.0 410.0 410.0 10.0
Plant material Seeds ha 1.0 942.0 942.0
Total costs for establishment of the Technology 29570.0
Total costs for establishment of the Technology in USD 29570.0

Duration of establishment phase: 1 month(s)

4.5 Maintenance/ recurrent activities

Activity Timing/ frequency
1. forest cleaning
2. forest cleaning In the dry session

4.6 Costs and inputs needed for maintenance/ recurrent activities (per year)

Specify input Unit Quantity Costs per Unit Total costs per input % of costs borne by land users
Labour Forest cleaning ha 1.0 142.0 142.0 52.0
Total costs for maintenance of the Technology 142.0
Total costs for maintenance of the Technology in USD 142.0

Machinery/ tools: Hoe, machete

Costs are estimated according to the time required for afforestation and the entity contracted for the implementation of the activities.

4.7 Most important factors affecting the costs

Describe the most determinate factors affecting the costs:

The labour affects the costs more than other factors. Paid labour is a way to achieve additional income for many people in this area. The employer (Directorate General of Agriculture, Sylviculture and Livestock of the Ministry of Rural Development) provides 90% of the cost of the equipment. The lifetime of the equipment is 10-15 years.

5. Natural and human environment

5.1 Climate

Annual rainfall
  • < 250 mm
  • 251-500 mm
  • 501-750 mm
  • 751-1,000 mm
  • 1,001-1,500 mm
  • 1,501-2,000 mm
  • 2,001-3,000 mm
  • 3,001-4,000 mm
  • > 4,000 mm
Specify average annual rainfall (if known), in mm:


Agro-climatic zone
  • humid
  • sub-humid
  • semi-arid
  • arid

Thermal climate class: tropics. average temperature equal to 26 º C

The exposure and altitude are factors diterminantes for agroclimatic estratização. the higher areas and targeted to the SE are more humid.

5.2 Topography

Slopes on average:
  • flat (0-2%)
  • gentle (3-5%)
  • moderate (6-10%)
  • rolling (11-15%)
  • hilly (16-30%)
  • steep (31-60%)
  • very steep (>60%)
  • plateau/plains
  • ridges
  • mountain slopes
  • hill slopes
  • footslopes
  • valley floors
Altitudinal zone:
  • 0-100 m a.s.l.
  • 101-500 m a.s.l.
  • 501-1,000 m a.s.l.
  • 1,001-1,500 m a.s.l.
  • 1,501-2,000 m a.s.l.
  • 2,001-2,500 m a.s.l.
  • 2,501-3,000 m a.s.l.
  • 3,001-4,000 m a.s.l.
  • > 4,000 m a.s.l.
Indicate if the Technology is specifically applied in:
  • not relevant
Comments and further specifications on topography:

Altitudinal zone: 100-500 m a.s.l. belongs to the stratum semi-arid sub-humid. Is part of the stratum the highest percentage of the area of the basin. 1000-1500 m a.s.l. includes mainly the cliffs and ridges.

Landforms: Also ridges and footslopes. The hazards of a convex situations does not allow its application in mountain slopes.

5.3 Soils

Soil depth on average:
  • very shallow (0-20 cm)
  • shallow (21-50 cm)
  • moderately deep (51-80 cm)
  • deep (81-120 cm)
  • very deep (> 120 cm)
Soil texture (topsoil):
  • coarse/ light (sandy)
  • medium (loamy, silty)
Topsoil organic matter:
  • medium (1-3%)
  • low (<1%)
If available, attach full soil description or specify the available information, e.g. soil type, soil PH/ acidity, Cation Exchange Capacity, nitrogen, salinity etc.

Soil depth on average: Very shallow is associated with the sloping hillsides used for rainfull agriculture and shaloow is found mainly in the valley bottoms of the downstream.

Soil texture (topsoil): The soil overlay mainly basaltic rocks, piroclastic, conglomerates and aluvial deposits

Soil fertility is medium - low

Soil drainage / infiltration is good - medium

Soil water storage capacity is medium - low

5.4 Water availability and quality

Ground water table:

5-50 m

Availability of surface water:

poor/ none

Water quality (untreated):

poor drinking water (treatment required)

Comments and further specifications on water quality and quantity:

Ground water table: In rain months, it is more superficial than in the dry months

Availability of surface water: There is some just when it rains.

Water quality (untreated): Salinization of water due to over exploitation of wells and boreholes

5.5 Biodiversity

Species diversity:
  • medium

5.6 Characteristics of land users applying the Technology

Off-farm income:
  • less than 10% of all income
Relative level of wealth:
  • poor
Individuals or groups:
  • employee (company, government)
Indicate other relevant characteristics of the land users:

Population density: 100-200 persons/km2

Annual population growth: > 4%

and own 1% of the land (the tecnology is applyed by the state, and the state of that country is poor).

Off-farm income specification: forest production (mainly grass and wood) generate an annual income of approximately $2,500

Market orientation of production system: Mixed:Forest products are quite limited: lumber, firewood, charcoal and fodder from the pods. Firewood is the most important product but marketing is quite limited in time and space and subsistence are families who enter the forest for collection of grass and firewood. It is necessary for their survival. The state sells these products in order to finance other development projects.

5.7 Average area of land used by land users applying the Technology

  • < 0.5 ha
  • 0.5-1 ha
  • 1-2 ha
  • 2-5 ha
  • 5-15 ha
  • 15-50 ha
  • 50-100 ha
  • 100-500 ha
  • 500-1,000 ha
  • 1,000-10,000 ha
  • > 10,000 ha
Is this considered small-, medium- or large-scale (referring to local context)?
  • large-scale

Also 50-100 ha, 100-500 ha and 100-500 ha,

The forest covers all the household

The grass production is made between the trees across the forest area if it's possible

5.8 Land ownership, land use rights, and water use rights

Land ownership:
  • state
  • individual, titled
  • Diocese
Land use rights:
  • communal (organized)
  • individual
Water use rights:
  • communal (organized)

5.9 Access to services and infrastructure

  • poor
  • moderate
  • good
technical assistance:
  • poor
  • moderate
  • good
employment (e.g. off-farm):
  • poor
  • moderate
  • good
  • poor
  • moderate
  • good
  • poor
  • moderate
  • good
roads and transport:
  • poor
  • moderate
  • good
drinking water and sanitation:
  • poor
  • moderate
  • good
financial services:
  • poor
  • moderate
  • good

6. Impacts and concluding statements

6.1 On-site impacts the Technology has shown

Socio-economic impacts


fodder production


fodder quality


energy generation

Comments/ specify:

Firewood to the community

Water availability and quality

drinking water availability

Income and costs

expenses on agricultural inputs


economic disparities


Socio-cultural impacts

food security/ self-sufficiency

Comments/ specify:

It reduces the options of land use

cultural opportunities


conflict mitigation


situation of socially and economically disadvantaged groups

Comments/ specify:

Any sex has the same opportunity on the assets of the forest

livelihood and human well-being

Comments/ specify:

It improves air quality, promotes the production of endemic species and its use as medicine

Ecological impacts

Water cycle/ runoff

groundwater table/ aquifer




soil moisture


soil cover


soil loss


soil organic matter/ below ground C

Climate and disaster risk reduction

emission of carbon and greenhouse gases


wind velocity

Other ecological impacts

Invasive species




6.2 Off-site impacts the Technology has shown

water availability


reliable and stable stream flows in dry season


downstream flooding


downstream siltation


buffering/ filtering capacity


wind transported sediments


damage on neighbours' fields


6.3 Exposure and sensitivity of the Technology to gradual climate change and climate-related extremes/ disasters (as perceived by land users)

Gradual climate change

Gradual climate change
Season increase or decrease How does the Technology cope with it?
annual temperature increase well

Climate-related extremes (disasters)

Meteorological disasters
How does the Technology cope with it?
local rainstorm not known
local windstorm not well
Climatological disasters
How does the Technology cope with it?
drought not well
Hydrological disasters
How does the Technology cope with it?
general (river) flood not known

Other climate-related consequences

Other climate-related consequences
How does the Technology cope with it?
reduced growing period well

Tree species more tolerant of the climatic factors can be used, whilst retaining all the benefits that the existing species provide

6.4 Cost-benefit analysis

How do the benefits compare with the establishment costs (from land users’ perspective)?
Short-term returns:


Long-term returns:


How do the benefits compare with the maintenance/ recurrent costs (from land users' perspective)?
Short-term returns:

neutral/ balanced

Long-term returns:

very positive


The high costs are associated with its implementation; afterwards they are significantly reduced and the technology builds up the benefits.

6.5 Adoption of the Technology

If available, quantify (no. of households and/ or area covered):

None. It's a project of the government


Comments on acceptance with external material support: Only the state has implemented this technology, because it changes the use of land and, without any subsidies, other land users are not encouraged to agree to it.

There is a moderate trend towards spontaneous adoption of the Technology

Comments on adoption trend: there is a continuing campaign of afforestation of state land. There are voluntary associations working in this technology for a better environment

6.7 Strengths/ advantages/ opportunities of the Technology

Strengths/ advantages/ opportunities in the land user’s view
Production of firewood and grass

How can they be sustained / enhanced? make more forest operations such as pruning or cutting of new seedlings
Protection of soil

How can they be sustained / enhanced? strengthen maintenance operations
Strengths/ advantages/ opportunities in the compiler’s or other key resource person’s view
Increases the quality of the landscape and reduces the loss of soil by runoff

How can they be sustained / enhanced? increasing the tree cover in areas with low coverage
Encourages the production of livestock, and fuel wood

How can they be sustained / enhanced? integrate the community in managing the forest, and manage it in a sustainable way.

6.8 Weaknesses/ disadvantages/ risks of the Technology and ways of overcoming them

Weaknesses/ disadvantages/ risks in the land user’s view How can they be overcome?
impossibility of farming in the forest lands off-farm income creation to compensate
Lack of involvement of farmers in the management of forest areas capacity building of land users in forest management strategies, elaboration of contracts between State and land users for the management of forest perimeters
Weaknesses/ disadvantages/ risks in the compiler’s or other key resource person’s view How can they be overcome?
Reduces the percentage of land for agricultural production increase productivity in cultivated land and reduce the need for the use of forest land, and implement new production technologies such as greenhouses

7. References and links

7.1 Methods/ sources of information

7.2 References to available publications

Title, author, year, ISBN:

Desertification at the Santiago Island, DESIRE, 2008

Title, author, year, ISBN:

Relatório de avaliação inicial do impacto das realizações de conservação de solos e água em 1993 do projecto WDP, WDP project, 1995

Title, author, year, ISBN: Survey of family income and expenditure, INE, 2002

Title, author, year, ISBN:

OCDE, CILSS, 1982. Análise do Sector Florestal e Propostas para Cabo Verde. Sahel D (82) 179

Available from where? Costs?

Club do Sahel, pp 203.

Title, author, year, ISBN:

MAAA/DGASP, 1996. Rapport de pays pour la Conférence Technique Internationale de la FAO sur les Ressources Phytogénétiques, Leipzig, 1996, pp 38.

Available from where? Costs?

Leipzig, 1996, pp 38.

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