Care for trees (Norw)
Tending desert treesPeople have through all times utilized natural resources and to different extents shaped and reshaped their surroundings to optimize the output of their resource base. Care for trees show how nomadic pastoral groups in the Red Sea Hills, from Ababda in the north to Hadendowa in the south, utilize, shape and tend one of their most essential resources — the acacia tree. Together with other tree species Acacia tortilis supplies essential fodder for their domestic animals throughout the year and in particular during the long droughts when grazing cannot be found. Presently political, social and economic globalisation affects the North African dry lands and imposes changes in the desert societies, livelihoods and landuse. As desert people settle landuse and tending practices halt. While traditional land use has sustained desert resource bases and ecosystems for millennia, ongoing land use intensification and abandonment may increase these ecosystems' and the desert dwellers' vulnerability to dry episodes. Valuable information and knowledge that has accumulated and maintained the cultural landscape of the RSH over thousands of years might therefore be lost within only a few generations. In an ecosystem where dryland trees are reported to have high mortality and low recruitment, documenting the traditional ecological knowledge underlying their management can be of vital importance for safeguarding these essential resources for future generations. Care for trees is a short film production under the ACACIA research project, produced by Gidske L. Andersen and directed by Knut Krzywinski. The production is funded by the Norwegian Research Council and the Olaf Grolle Olsen and Miranda Bødtker's Fund.