History of the project                                                           The ILCA / ODEM Project
The   International   Livestock   Center   for   Africa   ILCA/CIPEA   was   created   in 1975,    as    the    13 th     research    center    of    the    Consultative    Group    on    International Agricultural   Research   –   CGIAR   –   which   funded   research   centers   promoting   the "green   revolution".   It   established   itself   in   Mali   in   1979,   in   collaboration   with   the Institute   of   Rural   Economy,   IER.   In   association   with   the   Operation   for   Livestock Development   in   the   Mopti   Region   –   ODEM   –   and      funded   by   the   World   Bank,   the CIPEA-IER/ODEM    teams    started    a    very    ambitious    research    and    development project   which,   in   the   productivist   approach   in   fashion   at   that   time,   was   aimed   at 'modernizing'   livestock   breeding   in   the   5 th    region   of   Mali   in   order   to   make   the region a pole of animal production in the area. Our mandate was threefold: To   conduct   a   fine-scale   study   of   the   rangelands   of   the   Inner   Delta   of   Niger   (fig 1),   as   well   as   transhumance   during   the   rainy   season   and   cool   dry   season   on   the left   bank,   reaching   westwards   to   the   Serpent   valley   and   northwards   up   to   the Mauritanian border. To    conduct    a    study    of    the    pastoral    organization    of    the    land    (territories, transhumance   paths   ...),   and   of   conflicts   between   pastoralists,   fishermen   and farmers related to the uses of natural resources. To formulate proposals for the development of livestock productivity.
The   means   at   our   disposal   were   exceptional:   a   budget   of   more   than   one   million   dollars,   a   fleet   of   vehicles,   a   twin-engine   aircraft, a 1:50 000 photographic coverage in Infrared Color, commissioned to the French National Geographic Institute, IGN. The   human   resources   were   equally   considerable:   some   thirty   Malian   and   international   researchers   and   collaborators   divided   into several teams: A team of ecologists under the direction of Pierre Hiernaux, Mohamed Idrissa Cissé and Lassine Diarra. A   team   responsible   for   studies   and   for   the   mapping   of   pastoral   land   tenure   under   the   direction   of   Salmana   Cissé,   Samba   Soumaré and Jérôme Marie. An team for aerial surveys (including cattle counting) under the direction of Kevin Milligan, David Bourn and William Wint. A   team   responsible   for   the   study   and   implementation   of   a   reform   of   territories   and   uses   that   regulate   access   to   natural   resources. This work was  directed by Salmana Cissé, Alain Rochegude (a lawyer) and Jérôme Marie. Finally,   a   team   based   at   ILCA   headquarters   in   Addis   Ababa,   in   charge   of   mapping.   Mark   Haywood,   his   director,   made   several visits   to   the   fields   with   Pierre   Hiernaux.   He   realized   the   whole   photo-interpretation,   defined   and   coordinated   the   drawing   of   the cartographic   system.   Land   tenure   crews   charged   with   registering   the   leyde    boundaries,   pastoral   trails,   and   resting   camps   worked directly on the 1:50 000 topographic background maps developed by Mark Haywood. This   resulted   in   a   report   entitled   "Seeking   a   solution   to   the   problems   of   animal   husbandry   in   the   Inner   Delta   of   the   Niger   in   Mali", handed over to the Government of Mali and the ODEM in March 1983. The five volumes (1100 pages) dealt with : 1 . Rangelands in the study area (their floristic composition, ecological conditions, production, etc.) 2 . The distribution and density of livestock in different seasons obtained by systematic aerial surveys. 3 . Geographical   and   socio-economic   monographs   covering   all   the   leyde   (Fulani   pastoral   territories   in   the   Delta),   dealing   with villages, population, the organization of transhumance, land conflicts, etc. 4 . A   legal   analysis   proposing   solutions   to   solve   conflicts   between   pastoralists,   fishermen   and   farmers.   In   particular,   we   advocated the   replacement   of   leyde    by   agro-pastoral   units,   territorial   communities   headed   by   an   elected   council   whose   competence   would be to regulate the use of resources (land, water, pastures, etc.) among the various holders of rights. These reports were accompanied by detailed maps in three layers: The   maps   of   the   Niger   Inland   Delta   rangelands   (27   maps   at   1:50   000   scale   in   80x50   cm   format).   But   also   the   map   of   the rangelands   of   the   'Delta   mort'   and   the   Office   du   Niger   (31   maps   in   the   1:   100   000   format   40x28cm)   and   the   maps   of   the continental rangelands to the West and North (6 IGN topographic maps 1: 200,000). Pastoral   land   mapping   of   the   Inland   Delta   of   the   Niger   covering   the   31   leyde    (Fulani   pastoral   territories)   of   the   Delta.   This   cover, rigorously   superimposable   to   the   previous   one,   bore   the   detailed   hydrographic   network,   the   relief   elements   (hills   or   "togge" ),   the villages   and   hamlets   cultivated,   the   pastoral   tracks   inside   the   Delta   (over   3,600   km)   pastoral   gîtes   (over   1,000),   toponymy,   land disputes over lodges, trails or leyde  boundaries. Maps   of   agricultural   land   use,   comparing   1952   and   1974/75   (Haywood   M.   1981.   "Evolution   of   land   use   and   vegetation   in   the Sudano-Sahelian zone of the ILCA project in Mali", Doc. Working Group 3, ILCA, Addis Ababa, 187 p.). This work was not implemented and its results were never published, for several reasons: Implementation   would   have   required   the   establishment   of   relations   between   the   populations   and   the   administrations   concerned on   a   decentralized   and   democratic   basis,   which   was   not   the   case   at   the   time.   The   decentralization   that   took   place   under   the   Third Republic,   which   led   in   1999   to   the   creation   of   rural   communes   and   the   election   of   municipal   councils,   now   offers   more   favorable political   conditions   for   the   local   management   of   natural   resources,   as   our   study   advocated   at   the   time.   Despite   the   success   of   the two experimental units, in 1983 the Malian political power was not ready for such a radical reform. ILCA   engaged   in   the   study   only   at   the   urgent   request   of   the   World   Bank.   No   provisions   had   been   made   for   a   publication   beyond the   delivery   of   the   reports   and   maps   to   ODEM   as   specified   in   the   contract.   Besides,   such   a   publication   would   have   been   at   odds with   the   ILCA   policy   in   those   days,   which   was   more   focused   on   animal   production   development   projects.   Our   concern   about pastoral land tenure was largely misunderstood by our supervisors at that time.... But   the   main   reason   was   our   inability   to   perform   syntheses,   or   modeling   and   spatial   analysis   operations   on   such   a   mass   of   data   in the   absence   of   powerful   computing   tools.   In   1983,   computers   still   used   heavy,   slow   and   expensive   systems.   GIS   was   virtually non-existent   and   satellite   remote   sensing   was   in   its   infancy   (SPOT,   for   instance,   had   not   yet   been   launched).   Pierre   Hiernaux,   for example,   treated   his   phyto-ecological   observations   with   punch   cards.      When   Mark   Haywood   wanted   to   quantify   the   area   of   ​​the «bourgoutières»    in   the   Delta   in   1983,   he   had   to   cut   out   the   plots   representing   this   plant   species   formation   and   then   weigh   the paper pieces to deduce the area!
                                 The creation of the Geographic Information System DELMASIG However,   the   project   archives   were   carefully   kept,   and   in   the   early   1990s,   with   the   authorization   of   ILCA      –   which   was   not interested   in   the   study   anymore   –   a   first   attempt   was   made   to   publish   the   maps   with   the   active   help   of   colleagues   of   the   Institute   of Livestock    and    Veterinary    Medicine    for    the    Tropics,    IEMVT    (now    a    department    of    Center    for    International    Cooperation    in Agronomical   Research   toward   Development,   CIRAD).   The   exorbitant   cost   of   this   publication   (about   1   million   francs   or   170,000 euros)   caused   the   project   to   fail.   It   became   evident   that   only   the   realization   of   a   GIS   would   make   these   data   accessible   and   provide the   syntheses   that   we   had   not   been   able   to   carry   out   at   the   time.   Starting   in   1997,   thanks   to   François   Cuq’s   friendly   help,   Jérôme Marie,   the   team's   geographer,   was   able   to   work   full-time   at   the   Géosystèmes   laboratory   of   the   CNRS   on   Arc   Info   software   in   order to   model   the   data   collected.   A   small   team   was   set   up   with   Pierre   Hiernaux,   Mark   Haywood   (who   digitized   all   the   rangeland   maps), Isabelle   Louise   Bisson,   a   student   and   database   specialist,   Emmanuel   and   Jacqueline   Giraudet,   CNRS   engineers,   Alain   Trouvé,   a mathematician   in   Paris13   -Villetaneuse   and   Yu   Yong,   a   computer   scientist   of   the   University   of   Shanghai   then   registered   for   a   post- doc in Paris 13. The original project was enriched with new data: - Water levels recorded until 2015 in order to model the flooded areas. - The areas cultivated in 1952, 1975 and 1989, making it possible to relate rice farming to the flood - The new territorial organization of Mali in order to put the analyses within the framework of the rural ‘communes’. -   Landsat   satellite   images   (since   1984)   to   verify   the   extent   of   the   flooded   surfaces   for   the   different   flood   heights   and   to   cross   the results   of   the   satellite   images   analysis   with   our   own   3D   model   of   the   Delta   basins.   This   model   was   also   enriched   by   the   thousands   of altitude ratings created by the IGN for the Niger River Mathematical Model. -   In   2014,   Pierre   Hiernaux   and   Matthew   D.   Turner   were   able   to   return   to   the   Inland   Delta,   revisit   the   sites   described   between   1979 and 1983 and document the dynamics of the vegetation for a possible updating of the vegetation map. It   is   therefore   the   evolution   of   this   GIS   now   developed   under   ARC   GIS   and   called   "DELMASIG"   –   for   SIG   DELTA   inside MALI   –      that   Jérôme   Marie   and   Pierre   Hiernaux   have   decided   to   make   accessible   to   the   scientific   community   by   creating   a dedicated website with these data and maps.                                                                          ILCA-IER / ODEM Project staff Pierre Hiernaux, Mohamed Idrissa Cissé and Lassine Diarra for the rangeland studies. Kevin Milligan, David Bourn, William Wint, Peter N. De Leeuw and Mamadou Keita for the aerial surveys. Abdallah   Ben   Alakaouri,   Salmana   Cissé,   Jérôme   Marie,   Mamadou   Nadio,   Alain   Rochegude,   Samba   Soumaré   and   Ibrahim   Ag Youssouf   for   ILCA-IER,   Kader   Cissé,   Mahamet   Keita,   Yahia   Maguiraga,   Gaoussou   Sidibé   for   the   ODEM   under   the   direction of Dr. Nouhmou Diakité, for the socio-economic and legal study. Mark Haywood and his team for photo interpretation and mapping.
Study area with the UTM 30 grid (5000 m.)