Chad is the fifth largest African country, with a total land area of 1,259,000 square kilometers. In 2008, the country had 11 million people, with 73% living in rural areas and 27% in urban areas [1]. Thirty-nine percent of Chad’s total land area is devoted to agriculture, with at least 80% dedicated to food crops. Cash crops account for the remainder, with cotton the main cash crop. Roughly 0.8% of cropland is irrigated. In 2005, forests made up 9.5% of total land area; the deforestation rate was 0.7% in the 2000–2005 period. Chad has classified 9% of its total land as nationally- protected areas (World Bank 2009a; GEF 2004) [1].

Chad is more susceptible to desertification than any other Sahelian country—an estimated 58% of its land is already classified as desert and another 30% is highly vulnerable (UNEP 2006). The flood plains and wetlands surrounding Lake Chad and its tributaries, which support close to 20 million inhabitants, are particularly prone to degradation. A possible increase in pollution from oil drilling presents yet another threat to land resources. (EIA 2007).


Chad is prone to degradation resulting from deforestation, bush burning, and unsustainable agricultural practices. These human factors, in combination with natural aridity, have reduced the fertility of soils that are already known to produce some of the lowest crop yields in sub- Saharan Africa (AA).

Continuous cropping, poor land- husbandry practices, and wind and soil erosion are degrading Chad’s land and depleting the soil’s native fertility. Prolonged drought has dried up water courses and reduced the amount of quality pastureland. Herders and sedentary farmers compete for land and access to water and put increasing pressure on forest resources (Odada et al. 2006; GEF 2004) [1].

The limited capacities of local populations to adapt to climate risks are also a major obstacle to building their resilience. In the southern agricultural zone, increases in population density and commercial farming coupled with low access to agricultural inputs is creating a class of landless producers who rent in land or work as agricultural laborers. (World Bank 2003). 


Key policies and governance approach

The Ministry of Land Management, Urbanism and Habitat (Ministère de l’Aménagement du Territoire, de l’Urbanisme et de l’Habitat, MATUH), through the Director of Urban Cadastre and Cartography (Direction de l’urbanisme du cadastre et de la cartographie, DUCC) is responsible for surveying and registering land [1]. Rural development management is managed by four different bodies: the Ministry of Agriculture (MINAGRI), the Ministry of Livestock (ME), the Ministry of Environment and Fisheries, and the Ministry of Water . These ministries are responsible for designing, implementing and monitoring rural development projects and programs (ADF 2004) [1].

Two are the most recent efforts of the country on land management and degradation: the  Law No. 7 of 5 June 2002, which empowers rural communities in natural resource management and environmental protection; and the Decree No. 215 of 24 April 2001, establishing a National Land Observatory to support the development of effective land-related policies and legislation (Furth 1996; CILSS 2003) [1]. In practice, while no formal framework exists for the decentralized governance of land, traditional authorities govern land at the village and canton levels. The land chief historically controlled villages inhabited, cultivated, and fallow land, including exploited bush (Koultchoumi 2008; World Bank 2005; World Bank 1999) [1].


Successes and Remaining challenges

In most cases, Chad’s formal land laws have not been translated into local languages (or English) and texts of the laws are not disseminated (CILSS 2003; World Bank 1997; Furth 1996) making the general population, grassroots organisations and many officials and leaders unfamiliar with the content of the formal land laws [1].

Land degradation remains among the main environmental threats in Chad resulting from climatic variability and weak local governance.

A positive step forward is represented by the Land Degradation Neutrality country report, submitted to the UNCCD in 2015, establishing voluntary national targets to be achieved by 2040 [2].


Initiatives and Development Plans

In 2000, the government prepared a Rural Development Intervention Plan (PIDR) in with, as primary objective, the sustainable increase in agricultural production, in combination with environmental conservation and rural capacity-building. The government also developed a Master Plan for Agriculture (MPA) for implementation over a 10-year period (2006–2015) as well as the National Programme of Action to Combat Desertification (PAN/LCD) in 2000, setting out a framework of measures to assist people and local organizations in securing a sustainable improvement in dryland management.

Adaptation is supported by the Project to improve the Resilience of Agricultural Systems (PARSAT),with total funding of 36.2 million USD, co-funded by IFAD, GEF, ASAP and the Chadian government. The project was put in place in 2015, for a period of 7 years[1].

Moreover, in 2004, the African Development Fund (ADF) began a 6-year US $20 million project focused on the sustainability, diversification, and increase of the productivity of natural resources in the Sudan region through irrigation schemes and rehabilitation of land[1].


Goals and Ambitions

According to the Nationally Determined Contribution of Chad, the priority adaptation options include a number of measures aimed at becoming more resilient by responding to hazards. In particular, this is meant to be obtained through the promotion of improved varieties of crops and better weather resistance, the development of agroforestry and the development of the agro-pastoral value chain approach, improving breeding efficiency, investment in improved pasture management, regulation pastoral mobility and the diversification of water and soil conservation techniques [3].

Moreover, according to the LDN, the country set the following targets [2]:

  • By 2040, 1 738.8 km2 of forest will be restored
  • By 2040, 17.95 km2 of wetlands will be restored
  • By 2040, 29 000 km2  of degraded land (bare soils and other) will be restored  



  • strengthening the resilience of agro-sylvo-pastoral systems.
  • promote climate change mitigation actions.
  • prevent risks and manage extreme climatic phenomena.
  • strengthen the capacity of institutions and actors in the fight against climate change and
  • strengthen instruments and capacities for mobilizing climate-related finance.