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The physiogeographic ReSaKo-project (Rain forest-Savanna Contact), as part of the interdisciplinary research group 510 of the German Research Foundation (DFG), focuses on spatial and temporal landscape dynamics of the rain forest-savanna transition in south-western Cameroon during the last 3,000 years by applying geomorphological and pedological methods. Recent research on landscape sensitivity has shown that striking environmental changes may have significant effects on the large-scale and short-term changes within ecosystems. By studying several catchments of different size of southern Cameroon rivers (Sanaga, Nyong, Ntem) the possible coincidence of a marked and clear aridification in Central Africa - starting around 3000 yrs. BP. - with the simultaneous expansion and migration of pottery making, Bantu-speaking people into the rain forest areas is examined. The study searches for reasons and causes of ecological turning points and discusses their consequences on the migration of humans and the application of what were then innovative land-use techniques. The mobile and extensive subsistence economy of hunters and collectors as well as nomadic systems was abruptly replaced by a continuous, sedentary and area-consuming land-use system.

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West Africa is worldwide one of the richest areas in terms of biodiversity, but at the same time one of the poorest in terms of economic power. Complex linkages of social, political, economic and ecological factors make it difficult for these subcontinent's societies to escape a vicious cycle of poverty, unsustainable resource use and biodiversity loss. Facing these ecological, environmental and socio-economic problems, BIOTA-West contributes in an interdisciplinary, integrative, and participatory approach to this challenge.

current projects: BIOTA West Atlas >

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Druckversion: 25. März 2010, 15:09