Abstract for: Sahel Learning Lab

In this occasion we’ll examine a fragil and desert ecosystem called the SAHEL at the North of Africa, under Sahara’s desert. Where in the recent 50 years an unusual drought has caused famine, poverty and death in the population. Even though there have been well-intentioned efforts from global organizations as the UN, to support, with strategies for change, the improvement of the quality and life expectancy for people, very little has been achieved and the results have collapsed in a few years. Any change in any part of the system, wether applied to pumping waters from wells, health campaigns for population, the genetic improvement of animals to increase the food production, or to improve the field productivity, almost immediately affects on another part of the system and the cause-effect cycles of negative balance settle the system, where is very complex to overcome the constrains imposed by the environment. In this activity, the student will learn to model complex ecosystems, where any improvement strategy to implement in one of its parts, affects all simultaneously. As their main goal, they’ll look for achieving a long-term sustainability in the ecosystem, where the economic, social and ecological goes together.