CHAPTER 10: Scenarios And Policy Options 0.1 [data :23-07-2019] New


Sudan’s current and future development is largely dependent on the country´s rich and diverse natural capital. The expansive land area provides abundant arable land, vast rangeland, sufficient fresh water resources and minerals.

Sudan is a homeland to over 36.7 million people (CBS 2018) characterized by cultural diversities and multiple forms of socio-economic livelihoods.

Despite its richness in natural and human resources, Sudan continues to suffer from multiple economic, political, social and environmental crises, including violent conflicts, political instability, poverty and economic underdevelopment, natural resource depletion, and environmental degradation.

These crises are caused by an interwoven mix of human and natural dynamics such as bad governance, population growth, drought, desertification, deforestation, land degradation, and climate change and variability, among many others.

Thus, Sudan’s future development path will be determined by a set of key drivers of environmental change and uncertainties as well as local, national, regional and global dynamics in social, economic and political landscapes.

According to Central Bureau of Statistics (2018), the Sudan’s current population is projected to increase to 57.2 million by 2030. This is certainly one key driver to environmental change, and natural resource use and distribution due to its growth rate of 2.8% and demographic dynamics.

The demand for food, freshwater, housing and other services will rise with population increase associated with changes in consumption behavior.

Moreover, trends and size of population mobility in terms of rural-urban migration as well as forced migration affects population distribution, resulting in internally displaced persons and refugees.

Economic performance and development, per capita incomes, trade balance, and the extent all these will depend on the extraction of natural resources, are likely to have far reaching implications on Sudan’s future development trends.

Agriculture remains a major sector to the economy contributing to 39.6% of the GDP.

Salient features of the Sudan’s current total land area are certainly shaping its present and future development path. Current land size of 1,881,988 km2 as a result of a reduction by 24.7% following the separation of South Sudan in 2011 (SSA 2018).

Seventy two percent of the remaining land is desert, 10% is forest with 8.1% is under protection (SSA 2018). Policies and practices pertinent to tenure and rights to ownership and/or access to use are crucial in economic, social and political development of Sudan (Komey, 2010).

Urbanization trends, growth, primacy, congestion and pollution impose multiple challenges towards achieving sustainable development because they put more pressure on natural resources.

Continuation of violent conflicts and political tensions will continue to have negative impact on governance and institutional arrangements and functions associated with less effective implementation of policies for better environmental governance and development sustainability.

Given its geographic location in arid and semi-arid zone, most of Sudan’s regions are likely to continue facing the negative impacts of climate change.

The renewable and non-renewable water resources, namely the River Nile, dams, hydropower infrastructures; and water management regimes, will greatly shape the demand for water consumption, availability, accessibility, and affordability, with far-reaching impact on Sudan’s state of the environment, natural resource use, and eventually its development path in the foreseeable future.

The impact of introduction and adoption of different types of technology, like mobile phones and irrigation technologies, is likely to have multidimensional effects on economic and social development trends and patterns.

In a nutshell, the past and present state and trend of environmental changes are a result of the prevailing governance system at Federal, State and Locality levels as well as of the Sudan’s international and regional economic and political relations.

10.1.2 Setting the Scene

Humankind is the most dominant driver of environmental change because people are main users and consumers of environmental resources.

The preceding chapters provide the salient features of the current state of environment while pointing to perceptible environmental challenges and seemingly undesirable factors in taking the country to the future that it wants. Chapter 9 analyzes the existing policies and their implications on the current state of environment.

One overarching conclusion derived from the overall analyses and findings of the previous chapters is that the current state, trends and patterns of environment and development in Sudan, if left without sound alternative policies, they are likely to have far-reaching negative repercussions, not only on the future state of environment and outlook but also on the overall economic development, peace and political stability of Sudan.

This implies that, Sudan’s future development requires not only evidence-based policies and planning, but also a review of future options for the country. Moreover, the path towards a sustainable and peaceful future requires a set of policy options for the future.

Against this backdrop, this last chapter examines possible scenarios for future Sudan. The focus is on two scenarios: “Business as Usual Scenario” vs. “Bending Curve Scenario”, with the latter being an alternative pathway towards sustainable development, political stability and peace in Sudan.

10.2 Sudan’s natural capital

Sudan´s rich and diverse natural endowments are traceable throughout its environmental system categorized broadly into the lithosphere as a source of land and soil resources, atmosphere as a source of air resources, hydrosphere as a source of water and aquatic resources, biosphere as a base for fauna and flora, stratosphere as a source of climate elements and conditions.

Land area: the Sudan total land area covers 1,881,988 km2 (695,000 miles2), with approximately 1,752,187 km2 as land surface while water surface covers about 129,813 Km2.

This area size rates Sudan as the third largest country in Africa, next to Algeria (2,381,741 km2) and DR Congo (2,267,050 km2), as well as the third largest in the Arab World, next to Saudi Arabia and Algeria while it occupies the sixteenth position worldwide (Map 10.1) (Goegraphy of Stattistics, 2018).

Sudan’s landscape is characterized by distinctive topographic and landscape features dominated by the Nile River and its tributaries, surrounded by a set of mountains and hilly areas (see Map 10.2).


Locator Map of Sudan

Map (10.1): Sudan Land: Size and Location

Source: World, online (2019)


Map (10.2): The Topographic Features of Sudan

Source: Komey (2017)


Based on the distinctive topographic and geological features as well as climatic conditions prevailing in each area in Sudan, different types of soils are formed but the following four categories of soils are the dominant:


  • Clay soils in central part of Sudan mainly between the White and Blue Nile Rivers. The clay soils are very productive in agriculture;
  • Alluvial soils are found along the main Nile to Lake Nubia; and in the delta of the Gash River, in the Kassala area, in the Baraka Delta in the area of Tokar, in the Rahad and Dinder Rivers; and along the lower reaches of the White Nile and the Blue Nile rivers.
  • They are also found on along some khors like khor Abu Habil, khor Baraka;
  • Sandy (Qoz) soil dominates the semi-desert areas between proper desert areas in north and poor savannas in the south, particularly in the northern parts of the greater Kordofan and Darfur. Sandy soil, though relatively poor in nutrients, it is the principal soil from which Gum Arabic is produced in Sudan through tapping of Acacia senegal (known locally as hashab).
  • It is famous also for the production of hibiscus (karkade), millet, sesame and groundnut. It also supports vegetation used for grazing livestock namely camel and sheep; and
  • Mountainous soil produced on top of the Mountains and Hills in the Red Sea coastal hills, the Nuba Mountains, Jebel Marra, the Ingessana Hills in addition to other small Jebels like Barkal, Taka, al-Aian, Uweinat, Awulia, and Toteil.

Water Resources: As detailed out in Chapter 5 above, the Nile River is the main source of fresh water, for it provides 73% of Sudan’s annual freshwater.

The estimated total available water in Sudan is 28 Km3. This includes Sudan’s share of water from the Nile according to the 1959 Agreement with Egypt (18.5 Km3 measured at Aswan in South Egypt, which is equivalent to 20.5 Km3 in the center of Sudan), the average flow from non-Nile streams (5.5 Km3), and renewable groundwater (4.5 Km3) (Hamad 2015).

Moreover, the Red Sea is an inlet of the Indian Ocean with marine and coastal belt of about 750 km long in Sudan. It is characterized by its many coral reefs and bays along the coast and the spread of some islands and mangrove forests near and far from the coast.

The importance of Red Sea marine and coastal water stems from the fact that it is a base for fisheries, international sea transport and tourism.

Climate and Climatic Zones: Sudan lies within the tropics. According to Köppen Climate Classification depicted in Map (10. 3), the Sudan climate ranges broadly from desert in the extreme north to tropical wet-and-dry in the far southwest.

Its climatic conditions and zones are determined by rainfall, temperature and wind. Average annual rainfall over Sudan ranges from less than 25 mm in the extreme north to over 1,300 mm in the southern frontiers (see Map 10. 3).

Mean daily temperatures vary sharply between the seasons throughout the year. Two types of wind flows are dominant in Sudan – dry northerly winds from the Arabian Peninsula between January and March causing winter rainfalls along the Red Sea coast in eastern Sudan, and the moist southwesterly winds that flows from the Congo River Basin in early May resulting in rainfall in most parts of Sudan during May-September every year.

Map (10. 3): Sudan’s Köppen Climate Classification

Source: Sudan Map of Köppen Climate Classification (2018)


Five distinct climatic zones can be identified in Sudan, including desert with rainfall of less than 50 mm north of latitude 17̊ N excluding the Red Sea Hills.

Desert regions in central and northern Sudan are among the driest and the sunniest places in the country with high temperatures routinely exceed 40 °C (104 °F) for four to six months a year, and reaching a maximum peak of about 45 °C (113 °F) in some places. Average temperature remain high above 24 °C (75.2 °F) in the northernmost region, and above 30 °C (86 °F) in places such as Atbara or Meroe. Semi-Desert lies between latitudes 14̊ -17̊ N and receive rainfall amounting to between 50 – 200 mm.

They have sparse vegetation cover dominated by Acacia shrubs and short grass species. Low woodland savannas or poor savannah between latitudes 10̊ – 14̊ N with rainfall between 200 – 700mm, and have low and sparse woodland trees and bushes surrounded by grass.

High woodland savannas or rich savannah are located between latitudes 8̊ – 10̊ N in southern Blue Nile, and receive rainfall ranging from 700 – 1000 mm.

They have high woodland cover and an extended forest belt. Mediterranean Sea in the Red Sea Hills has its climate moderated by sea breezes, and most of its rain falls during winter. Maps (10.3) above and (10.4) show strong correlation between climatic conditions and rainfall over Sudan.


Image result for Rainfall over sudan maps

Map (10. 4): Sudan Annual Rainfall

Source: Sudan Map (2018)

Vegetation Cover: Sudan has five main vegetation belts in succession from north to south, more or less in coincidence with rainfall patterns and climatic zoning.

These five main vegetation zones are divided further into sub-zones (Map 10. 5) excluding those of South Sudan.

The desert region in the north is followed southeastward by semi-desert, low-rainfall and high-rainfall savanna (grassland) with inland floodplains, and mountain vegetation regions. Again comparing Map (10.4) with Map (10.5) indicates that there is positive relation between amount of rainfall and density and intensity of vegetation covers over Sudan.

In a nutshell, two important points are relevant to note here. First, Sudan’s physical features of plain lands, mountainous areas, water courses, climatic zones and vegetation cover, revealed above, interact to provide Sudan with rich and diversified natural capital of economic and human utilities, including vast arable land, grazing and rangelands, fresh water, tourist areas and minerals.

It offers cultivable/ arable area of 200 million feddan (84 million hectares) and this represents about 34 to 42 percent of the country’s total land. Of this cultivable area, 40 million feddan representing 20% is actually cultivated every year with 11 million feddan under irrigation and 19 million feddan under rain fed farming, while forest covers 11.6% of the total land (Ministry of Industry, 2018).



G:\Flash Disk\Maps\FAO, Sudan vegetation cover.gif

Map (10. 5): Vegetation Zones of Sudan and South Sudan (alternative map)


Second, the natural capital affects and being simultaneously affected by, humankind and the demographic dynamics, namely population size and distribution, settlement patterns, economic activities, political and social organizations, and forms of livelihoods.

These humankind-environment relations are complex and tend to have far-reaching and multiple impact on environment and natural resources, as well as on the humankind and development trends in Sudan’s present and future.

Achieving sustainable development can only be better understood through scenario-based analysis of future trends and dynamics of the mains aspects of Sudan’s natural capital.

10.3 Conceptualizing scenarios

The analysis and building of scenarios for future Sudan is guided by a set of scenario-based approaches. Both qualitative and quantitative types of approaches are deployed: qualitative scenario includes narrative description of future trends of the state of environment, presented as storylines and images while quantitative scenarios are presented in forms of tables, graphs and maps.

However, the overarching guiding frame is the narrative method for it is more relevant for the Sudan´s case where there is some deficiency, inaccuracy and/or inconsistency in some basic data at different levels of governance.

10.3.1 Definition, rationale, objectives, and components

Although the focus is on environmental scenario and its futuristic policy options and practices, it is sound to engage briefly with some overarching definitions and concepts and questions related to scenario in general before moving into environmental scenario.

“Scenarios are hypothetical sequences of events constructed for the purpose of focusing attention on causal processes and decision points” (Kahn and Wiener, 1967). “Scenarios are descriptions of journeys to possible futures.

They reflect different assumptions about how current trends will unfold, how critical uncertainties will play out and what new factors will come into play” (UNEP, 2002: 320).

Scenario building and analysis, therefore, is a way to investigate the unpredictability of future developments, and can be used to formulate robust policy-options.

Moreover, Scenarios are plausible and often simplified descriptions of how the future may develop, based on a coherent and internally consistent set of assumptions about key driving forces and relationships” (Henrichs, 2009a: 10; Mugabe et al. 2010: 460).

“Scenarios provide a coherent framework for analysis of how various issues or sectors interact and impinge on one another, and serve as tools to foster creativity, stimulate discussion, and focus attention on specific points of interests for policy on environment and development; and for opening up a constructive analysis of future problems (Mugabe et al., 2010: 460).

As demonstrated in Fig. (10.1) below, scenarios are not facts; they are not predictions, forecast, projections, explorations, or speculations. They are descriptions about how the future might unfold.

Fig (10.1): Situating Scenarios within Complexity and Uncertainty

Source: Henrichs, 2009a: 8


Strictly speaking, when dealing with future, we are, in fact, handling something which does not exist, and may or may not happen. Future undertaking involves complexity and uncertainty that theorists, policy and/or decision-makers, and practitioners must face while trying to positively influence uncertain future settings. As depicted in Fig. (10.2), looking into future involves three key sources of uncertainty: (i) ignorance for our scientific understanding is incomplete; (ii) inherent unpredictability and surprises because unexpected events bound to alter future; and (iii) future human choices in terms of aspirations, priorities and behavioral and economic consumption preferences matter very much.

Fig (10. 2): Key Sources of Future Uncertainty and Complexity

Source: Henrichs, 2009a: 7


10.3.2: Environmental scenario: definition, rationale, objectives, and components

Within the above cited general definitions, an environmental scenario is defined as a positive and attractive vision of an environment outlook and the role of relevant policy and practice aiming at achieving environmentally sound and sustainable development.

From global perspective, ‘global environmental scenarios’ refer to scenarios that focuses on “environmental concerns, challenges and changes, e.g. water stress and shortages, climate change, ecosystem functioning, urban air quality, etc, that have significance on a ‘global’ scale, either common to several regions or relevant worldwide” (Wilkinson and Eidinow, 2008).

A burning question is why an environmental scenario in the first place and why do we need to construct it? There are a number of reasons/ objectives which justify for constructing futuristic environmental scenarios and policy options and practices.

They include, but not limited to, the following (Altera, 2009: 9; Henrichs 2009a: 12):

  1. To be aware of the consequences of present actions and policies on the environment in future;


  1. To detect and avoid environment related dangers that could happen in future;


  1. To develop proactive strategies that can be used to avoid future catastrophes;


  1. To develop a yardstick for a desired future environment against which we can measure our performance in advancing preferred alternatives;


  1. To raise awareness of uncertainties and test the robustness of different policy strategies;


  1. To contribute to communicating the range of perceptions and challenge prevailing undesirable mind sets;


  1. To assist policy makers to rationally identify future choices with less risk; and


  1. To assist policy makers to decide what economic and ecological risks are acceptable.


At least three main types of scenarios are identified (Yanda et al., 2010: 305 – 306): i) predictive, i.e., exploration of probable futures; ii) explorative, i.e., exploration of possible futures; and iii) normative, i.e., exploration of preferable futures.

Predictive scenarios make an attempt to predict what is going to happen in the future with close link to the concept of probability and likelihood. Explorative scenarios are often used in a high uncertainty environment or when the mechanisms underlying the targeted changes are unknown (for example climate changes).

Normative scenarios are by definition back casting scenarios, i.e., start from the desired future situation and explore the various pathways to reach that future target. Explorative and normative scenarios are more relevant to environmental issues and problems.

Most scenarios developed in an environmental context tend to have a number of elements in common: “description of the current state, driving forces, description of step-wise changes, and image(s) of the future” (Henrichs, 2009a: 8, 10, emphasis added).

Explicit is that driving forces are key elements in any environmental scenario analysis and building, and are defined as “the main factors that influence future developments of a system (see Fig 10.3 below).


Fig (10.3): General scenario dynamics of an environmental system

General Scenario dynamics

Source: Clever, 2017

As illustrated in Fig (10. 4) below, main groups of driving forces include: demographic, policy, economic, social-cultural, political, legal, technological, and environmental drivers” (Henrichs 2009b: 8).


Fig (10: 4): Drivers, Pressures, State, Impact and Response (DSPIR) Model

Source:Kristensen, 2014


Effective and operational scenarios are characterized by two pre-requisites: first, as depicted in Fig (10.5) below, different components that build a scenario are integrated and interconnected in a way that form whole; second, scenarios are context-specific and should not be applied for another use than for which they have been developed.

Thus, the critical question is what are the most relevant scenarios for the specific context of Sudan?

Fig (10. 5): Scenario Building and its Integrated Components

Source: Altera, 2009: 11


10.4 Drivers of changes

There are many factors that stimulate environmental changes in Sudan. However, the focus here is on key ones, namely population and its demographic dynamics, trends and patterns of economic development and growth, natural environment, technology and innovation, urbanization, and governance and institutional arrangements.


10.4.1 Population and demographic dynamics


Human population is a key driving factor of environmental changes, from which all other drivers originate. Its size, density, geographical distributional pattern, economic activities and livelihood patterns are linked to all other drivers and pressures on the environment. Sudan’s current population of 36,729,501 persons in 2018 is characterized by annual growth rates of 2.8% on average (Central Bureau of Statistics, 2018).

It is, therefore, on average, a sparsely populated country with 22.7 (World Bank, 2018) persons per km2. However, due to spatial distribution of key natural resources and development attributes, there is sharp variation in population density, with the highest density in central Sudan along the Nile River and the lowest one in the desert and semi desert areas in northern parts of Sudan (Central Bureau of Statistics, 2018)(see Map 10.6).

Accordingly and as depicted on Map (10.7), geographical distribution and settlement patterns vary significantly due to the nature and characteristics of the physical environment and ecological systems outlined above. 35.3 % of the population lives in urban areas with annual growth rate of 3% while 64.7 %in rural areas including nomadic and agro-pastoral population. About 41% of Sudan’s population under the age of 15, with 20% between 15 to 24 years old, 31% between 25 to 54 years old, while just fewer than 4% are between 55 to 64 years old, and 3.3% are over 65 years old. Evidently, Sudan has relatively a young population (World Population Review, 2018).

Due to long history of adverse climatic changes associated with protracted and recurring violent conflicts in Sudan, South Sudan and other neighboring countries, sizeable numbers of Sudan’s populations are classified as internally displaced, refugees and returnees.

In 2018, International Organization of Migration reported that, in total, there are approximately 2.2 million IDPs, 105,000 returnees, 695,000 refugees from neighboring countries, and other migrants across Sudan (Internationla Organization of Migration, 2018).

With regard to the Sudanese emigration including labour and forced migrants, there are about 390,000 Sudanese refugees living in camps or urban settings in neighboring countries, in particular Egypt, Chad, Uganda, Kenya and Ethiopia; while economic migrants who represent main contributors to the economic development through financial remittances, are estimated at between 1.2 and 1.7 million.

They reside mostly in the Gulf States, Europe, North America and neighbouring African countries (Internationla Organization of Migration, 2018).While the size of land area is fixed, the country’s population is projected to reach 57,278,896 by 2030 (Central Bureau of Statisitic, 2018). This will likely to have far reaching implications on the future uses of natural resources and development trajectories.

Map (10.6): Sudan Population Density

Source: Population Density Map (2018): an Online Source


Map (10.7): Population Distribution and Settlement Patterns

Source:Komey 2017

10.4.2 Economic growth and development patterns and trends


The Sudanese economy is essentially an agrarian; with agriculture and livestock as the mainstay of economic activities and livelihoods, in addition to extraction of different types of natural resources.

Thus, other sectors remained underutilized with industry and services contributing to GDP by 2.6% and 57.8% respectively (Theodora, 2019).

Agriculture and livestock contribute approximately with 35%–40% to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) (World Bank, 2018) while employing about 80% of the work force.

But agriculture could contribute significantly more with sound economic development policy, greater investment, and better governance. Instead of exploiting its richness with natural resources to diversify its economic base, Sudan continues persistently a “single natural resource dependency state”.

Since 1950s throughout to the 1980s, cotton remained single main source of export revenues. Following the discovery and exploitation of oil in the mid-1990s, the Sudanese economy shifted its dependency to oil revenues, and continues to drive much of Sudan’s GDP growth since 1999.

For nearly a decade, the economy boomed on the back of rising oil production, high oil prices, and significant inflows of foreign direct investment.

Following the secession of South Sudan in 2011, Sudan lost three-quarters of the oil revenue that accounted for over half of the government revenue and 95% of its exports resulting in severe and multiple economic shocks.

As demonstrated in Fig (10.5) below, annual economic growth rates declined from 5.9% in 2010, before secession of South Sudan, to 3.5% in 2018; and inflation rates increases from 18 in 2011, to 26.9 in 2017 (Index Mundi, 2018) and sharply to 63.86 % at June 2018 (Central Bureau of Statisitics, 2018). GDP Per Capita increased progressively from 1476.5 $US in 2010 before the secession of South Sudan to 1959.15 USD in 2017.

Sudan recorded a trade deficit of 217,566 USD thousand in June of 2018. Balance of Trade in Sudan averaged -213267.37 USD thousand from 2003 until 2018, reaching an all-time high of 704,214 USD thousand in May of 2011 and a record low of -510,2027 USD thousand in January of 2017 (see Fig. 10.7) below.


Fig (10.5): Sudan GDP Annual Growth Rates (2008 – 2018)

Source: Trading Economics,2018


Fig (10.6) Sudan GDP Per Capita

Source: Trading Economics, 2018

Fig (10.7): Sudan Balance of Trade

Source: Trading Economics, 2018

Apart from the negative impact of the secession of South Sudan on the already fragile economy of Sudan, it was further aggravated by the interruption of oil production in South Sudan due to its violent conflict 2012 resulting in Sudan’s loss of oil transit fees to the present day.

Moreover, US economic sanctions on Sudan lifted in October 2017, ongoing conflicts in Southern Kordofan, Darfur, and the Blue Nile states, lack of basic infrastructure in large areas, and reliance by much of the population on subsistence agriculture, keep close to half of the population at or below the poverty line.

As a response, Sudan attempted to increase develop of non-oil sources of revenues, such as gold mining and agriculture. Due to multiple external and internal political and economic negative factors mentioned above, Sudan’s economy continues to experience declining trend or stagnation as manifested in the above key economic indicators.

Moreover, allocations of financial and economic resources for national development remained, since independence, concentrated highly on relatively more developed regions in central and northern Sudan, and at the expense of underdeveloped regions in the western, southern and eastern parts of the country.

One study, among many others, evidently revealed that 51% of total development expenditures in 2012/ 2013 were allocated to Khartoum state; while only 0.2% and 0.7% were allocated to the peripheral regions (states) of Blue Nile and West Darfur respectively (علي الجرقندي 2015). As a result of such national development biased policy, most of regions, which are remote from the center, remained underdeveloped despite their richness of natural resources as well as with sizeable and productive human resources.

The rising level of poverty rates attest to this assertion. In 2009, Sudan poverty rate at national poverty line was 46.5 %, but it was as high as 57.7% and 26.5% in rural and urban areas respectively (World Atlas Data, 2018).

However, though no credible new figure is released by the Sudan Government, the deteriorating economic situation suggests that it remain high with increasing trend.

The sustained poor performance of the national economy and underdevelopment, associated with social disruption, high and increasing poverty rates, and political instability, can be ascribed, to a large extend, to underutilization of the abandoned natural resources as well as to sharp regional and social disparities and mal-distribution of national development attributes and opportunities.

In summary, the problematic nature of national policies, institutional structures, and the overall system of governance and polity in Sudan to continue to restrain economic growth and development in Sudan.

The aggregate result is that Sudan continues to sustainably occupy one of the lowest ranks in Human Development Index. According to UN Human Development Report of 2018 Sudan occupies a rank of 167 out of 189 countries, with poor Human Development Index of 0.502 (UN Human Development Report, 2018).


10.4.3 Environmental drivers: climatic change and variability


Climate change and variability are a major environmental driver and the greatest development change of our time at local, national and global scales.

Burgeoning?? Numerous empirical studies show that Sudan, as part of the Sahelian zone, experienced a long trend of interchanging wet and dry seasons in the last century: the 1910s was a dry decade, the 1920s through to the 1950s were wet, followed by a sporadic dry period since the mid-1960s throughout to the mid-1980s and beyond (see Trilsbach and Hume 1984; van Arsdale 1989; UNEP 2007; Komey 2012; Osman 2017).


Thus, manifestations of climate change and variability in terms of frequent droughts, rising temperatures, and rain shortages (see Fig 10.8), and consequently, water scarcity during dry season are becoming an increasingly predominant phenomenon in Sudan today.

The impacts of climate changes are multiple including agriculture failures and reduction in productivity (see Fig 10. 9), famines and food insecurity, degradation of fertile land, desertification, deterioration of natural resource capital, and the associated socio economic impacts (trade, market prices, migrations and conflicts).

The impact of climate change on water, agriculture and other natural resources in current Sudan is multidimensional: wells are shrinking, lakes are drying up, rivers flow is weakened, water holes are filled up with sand, certain crops are no longer grown, and pastures are being depleted.

An estimated 50 to 200 km southward shift of the boundary between semi-desert and desert has occurred since rainfall and vegetation records were first made in the 1930s.

This trend is expected to continue due to a steady decline in rainfall as a result of regional climatic changes (Hume 1990:21; Komey 2012: 37).

Moreover, climatic change has negative impact on the dams, energy hydropower production, solar energy, renewable and non-renewables water sources and their potentials for future.

Fig (10.8): Sudan Normal Rainfall during 1941-70 Compared to 1971-2000

Source: Osman (2017)

Fig (10.9): Decreasing Agricultural Yields with Climate Changes

Source: Osman, 2017

Despite the obvious multiplicity and an enormous impact of climate change, little attention is being directed by the Governments to the centrality of the climatic change factor in its economic development and natural resource governance.

The consequences were, and still are, disguised/ distorted development interventions, ecological deterioration, recurring resource-based conflicts and protracted socio-political instability. Effective resource management requires timely and accurate data and information about the current and future patterns and trends of natural resources.

An Annual Meteorological Record providing such information has been published since the 1950s, but over the last two decades both the number of recording stations and the quality of data have deteriorated due to the government’s institutional failure and the impact of conflict (Komey 2012).


10.4.4 Urbanization as driver of changes

Sudan is one of the fastest urbanizing countries in the world. The capital, Khartoum’s population grew from just 250,000 on the eve of independence in 1956 to an estimated 2,831,000 in 1993—a year when the census estimated Sudan to be 25% urbanized. By 2005, the capital Khartoum’s population was estimated at 4.5 million officially and more than 7 million unofficially with 40% of the country urbanized, and fully half the urban population living in the capital, Khartoum.

This makes Khartoum a primacy city, not only in terms of absolute figures, but also politically, economically and socially, as large as all the other urban centers combined (Manzoul, 2008).



Fig (10.10): Sudan’s Urbanization from 2007 to 2017

Source: The Statistic Portal 2018.


Fig (10.10) shows the sustained increase of urbanization growth from 2007 to 2017, with 34.23% of total population living in urban centers and cities in 2017. In 2018, it has increased to 34.4% (UN Human Development Report, 2018). In short, urbanization as a key driver of environmental changes is evidently palpable in the Sudanese case.


10.4.5 Governance


The World Bank defines governance as the exercise of political authority and the legal use of institutional resources to manage society’s problems and affairs. It entails proper functioning of government institutions with abilities to effectively formulate and implement sound policies, laws, rules, regulations and customs (World Bank Institute 2010: 01).

Governance is, therefore, about structures, mechanisms, institutions, processes and practices that involve interactions of wide ranges and levels of actors including community organizations, civil society organizations, the private sector and business community, and the state but also international and transnational institutions (Nyariki, et al; 2010: 394-95).

Within this wider context, the interest here is on environmental/ natural resource governance defined as the instruments and institutions aiming at changes in environment-related incentives, knowledge, institutions, decision-making and behaviors of people and organizations in the management of natural resources.

It refers to a set of regulatory processes, mechanisms, and organizations through which political actors influence environmental resources’ actions and outcomes. Environmental governance requires multi-stakeholders participatory processes at different levels, which facilitate broad community participation to devise locally appropriate rules, sanctions, and conflict resolution processes.

It, therefore, means creating conditions, structures, processes and institutions for social coordination and collective action by which people in societies make decisions and share power, providing a vision and direction for sustainable natural resource (Nyariki, D. et al., 2010: 395, emphasis added).

In Chapter 9: Policy Analysis, after reviewing different policies related to environment and natural resources, he concluded that “the country is heading towards losing its natural resources base” essentially because “the government gives more support to agriculture, petroleum and mining investment opportunities and less attention to natural resources development and protection”.

Thus, Sudan’s current performance in environmental governance can hardly contribute to sustainable development and natural resources maintenance in the foreseeable future.

Each of the Sudan’s institutions, instruments, mechanism, law, policy, and regulation dealing with environment and natural resource management and governance, is characterized by a combination of problems and limiting factors including but not limited to the following: Lack of comprehensive national natural resource governance framework

Environment is a system, composed of separate, yet, intrinsically interconnected components. Inevitably, each component affects and is being affected by other components in a number of ways.

Thus, the best way for a country to achieve sustainable development is to develop a comprehensive and coherent land and natural resource governance framework that ensures effective and rational utilization of environment and natural resources nationwide.

Such framework outlines key guiding principles overall policies that govern the management and utilization of environment and natural resources between and within different economic sectors in different part of the country.

Sudan has never produced such comprehensive and coherent national document since independence in 1956 to the present day.

As discussed in Chapter 9 Policy Analysis, each economic sector (agriculture, animal resources, mining, water, forestry, etc.,) has its own policy and plan for the management and utilization of land and environmental natural resources. Lack of national land use plan/ strategy


As with the lack of comprehensive and coherent natural resource governance framework, Sudan has never produced a comprehensive land use plan or strategy that maps out actual and potential natural resources and their future trends nationwide.

As a result, allocation of land and natural resources among different users and functions is determined by different competing economic sectors and actors at different levels of governance.

Thus, different aspects of environment and natural resource components are always found fragmented in different land use maps, plans and strategies produced by different and competing ministries and institutions in collaboration with UN agencies (like UNDP, UNEP, IFAD and FAO).

Reference can be made here to several environment and natural resources related plans and strategies or laws, including (i) The National Plan for Development and Utilization of Water Resources (2014); (ii) National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plans (NBSAP) of 2000 and 2015 by Ministry of Environment and Physical Planning in collaboration with HCENR; (iii) The Sudan National Forest Policy of 2006 supported by FAO; (iv) Rangeland Act 2015 (v) Agricultural Land Use Investment Law 2015 Institutional instability, and weak enforcement of policies and law


Apart from fragmented plans and strategies related to utilization and management of environmental and natural resources, institutions entrusted with implementation of those fragmented plans and or strategies are usually weak, therefore, unable to efficiently and effectively discharge their duties including enforcement of laws.

Based on Table (9.12) in Chapter 9 Policy Analysis, it is evident that the overall performance of key economic sectors is neither effective nor efficient because each performance is rated either as weak, below average, or average. Several concrete examples substantiate these poor ratings of institutional performance.

For example, though Forest Law stipulates planting 5% of irrigated schemes and 10% of mechanized rain-fed schemes with tree belts, in practice the rule is hardly enforced by the concerned institutions.

There is also an increasing trend of deforestation in many parts of the country, partly, due to overcutting of forest trees by different actors. This is essentially because Forest Departments suffer from poor budgets and facilities associated with very limited numbers of forest guards with no capacity to enforce the law.

Due to political fluidity and instability in Sudan, there is constant change in government institutional structure at federal, state, and local levels.

Natural resource and environment affairs continue to oscillate between different ministries. As demonstrated in Table (10.1) below, the environment and natural resource sector continues shifting to different line ministries.

This institutional instability is likely to hamper smooth implementation of any long term strategy or policies pertaining to environmental and natural resource management and governance.

The recent political decision in September 2018 to abolish the Ministry of Environment, Natural Resources and Urban Development and de-promotion of the status of environment and natural resource sector from ministry portfolio to HCENR status, for the first time since 1991, indicates that environment and natural resources are longer top priority issues in national policies and governance.

This institutional change is likely to impede Sudan’s endeavor at aiming to attain the SDGs and the Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development.


Table (10.1): Environment and Natural Resource Institutional Changes (1991 – 2018)

Year Ministry
1991-1995 The Higher Council for Environment and Natural Resource (HCENR)
1995 – 1996 Ministry of Environment and Tourism while retaining HCENR
1996 – 2010 Ministry of Environment and Physical Development while retaining HCENR
2010 – 2015 Ministry of Environment, Forestry and Physical Development (while retaining HCENR)
2015 – 2018 Ministry of Environment, Natural Resource and Physical Development (while retaining HCENR)
2018 – 2019 Dissolution of Ministry of Environment, Natural Resource and Physical Development while establishing National Council for the Environment while retaining HCENR
2019 –

Source: Ministry of Environment, Natural Resources and Physical Development, 2018 Contradictions and or overlapping of laws, institutions and policies


Numerous laws and policies at federal, state, local, and even community levels were enacted in order to achieve sustainable management and exploitation of natural resources (see Chapter on Environmental Governance) in the report.

Reference can be made here to a few: Environmental Conservation Law of 2001, Mineral Resources and Mining Act of 2015, Law of Forests and Renewable Natural Resources of 2002, Range and Pasture Law of 2015, and National Parks and Protected Areas Act of 1986, and Investment Act of 2013 among many others.

Despite this, there are numerous practices related to management and exploitation of environmental and natural resources by different economic sectors, which contradict each other as well as contradicting some National laws and policies.

For example, in practice, the recent mushrooming artisan gold mining in Sudan undermines and contradicts most of those laws including the Mining Wealth Law of 2007.

It is true that gold mining is an extremely important source of national revenues in hard currency because it provides Government and gold miners with substantial revenues and employment. Equally, it is true that the current practices of artisanal gold mining activities lead to catastrophic environmental and natural resources impact.

The left over pits change the topographic landscape while the use of chemicals like cyanide pollute soil, water and air with disastrous impacts on the entire ecosystem. Moreover, artisanal gold mining activities have penetrated areas designated as reserved natural zones undermining the National Parks and Protected Areas Act of 1986.

Songo artisan gold mining inside Elradoam National Reserve Park in South Darfur is an example of institutional and policy contradiction and overlapping. Mechanized rain-fed farming schemes, where trees are uprooted and soil is degraded, is another case where economic gains of such farming activities contradict principles and policies aimed at sustainable use of natural resources.

In Gedarif state, there is “Rangeland Line 40 Law” enacted at State level in order to prevent extending mechanized farming schemes and use wide disc tractor beyond longitude 40 degree north where the traditional rain fed farming and rangeland for livestock grazing are suitable for the lighter soil and lower rainfall. Despite this law, use of disc and rain fed mechanized farming are practiced.

Also, for oil exploration and exploitation, a set of operations take place without adherence to environmental policies in a number of ways, including chemical pollution of soil, air and water, plants, animal, human beings, therefore, endangering the entire ecosystem and its biodiversity.

All these examples are tangible practices by different economic sectors, which either contradict or overlap with most of the above mentioned laws and policies. This implies lack of institutional vertical and horizontal coordination of different economic sectors at one level of governance being federal, inter-state, state, and local, or between different economic sectors at same level of governance. Lack of political will and commitment to enforce some laws


There is sufficient evidence that demonstrate that several agreements, constitutional principles, and which are either poorly implemented or remain unimplemented due to lack of political will and commitment by the governing authorities.

To exemplify, Chapter Two, Article 11, point (iii) of the Sudan Interim Constitution of 2005, stipulates that “The State shall promote, through legislations, sustainable utilization of natural resources and best practices with respect to their management”.

Moreover, the same Constitution calls for the establishment of Land Commissions at Federal and State levels of governance. In practice, Land Commissions were not established to the present day, essentially because of lack of political will and commitment by the Federal Government towards such arrangements which are certainly in favor of sustainable management and use of environment and natural resources nationwide.

Instead, it opted for making some constitutional amendment aiming at centralization of management and utilization of natural resources at federal level. The recent Constitutional Amendment of Article 186 (1), (2) and (3) and introduction of Investment Law as well as Agricultural Land Use Law of 2015 attest to this assertion.

Sudan is hardly adhering to some international principles related to environmental and natural resource governance and sustainability.

Sudan is among the global ‘hotspots’ for the growing large-scale land acquisitions by foreign investors for agribusiness investments (Cotula et al 2009; Centre for Huma Rights and Global Justice 2010; and Deng 2011).

According to a recent study by the World Bank (2010: xiv), from 2004 to 2009, Sudan transferred nearly four million hectares of land to foreign companies investing in agribusiness, the highest figure among all the countries studied.

A recent study that covers 102 global land grabbing cases in 21 countries in Africa and Asia, revealed that the highest cases of 20 (about 19%) took place in Sudan (GRAIN 2011).

Today, there is no evidence to suggest shifting away from this environmentally disturbing trend. Such investment trend indicates that Sudan does not adhere to some key ‘principles for responsible agro-investments’ outlined in the World Bank (2010: x) including the following ones:


1. Recognizing and respecting the existing rights to land and associated natural resources;


2. Ensuring transparency, good governance, and accountability of all stakeholders within proper legal system;


3. Investors are to ensure that projects respect role of law, reflect best practices and are economically viable with durable shared value;


4. Investors adhere to corporate social responsibility that generates desirable social and distributional impact and do not increase vulnerability; and


5. Investment must be sensitive to environmental sustainability with environmental impact quantified with clear measures taken to ensure sustainable resource use while minimizing and mitigating risk and magnitude of negative impact.


Without proper governance arrangements that ensure sustainable use and utilization of environment and natural resources, such global and national investment trend is likely to have far reaching negative implications on the Sudan’s future environment and natural resource sustainability.


10.5. Scenarios’ narratives

Environmental scenarios are important in policy setting and in planning future decisions. Sudan’s future will be guided by current state and trends in the environment and uncertainties, as well as local or global changes in the social, political and economic landscapes.


This section considers two possible scenario options for future Sudan. The first scenario option is “Business as Usual” meaning that if the Sudan’s current state and trends in the environment continue prevailing what are their likelihoods in affecting future sustainable development pathways.


The second one is “Bending the Curve” scenario, meaning that shifting away from the current state and trend of environment and development towards achieving the SDGs and the Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development.

10.5.1: Business as usual scenario narratives

In this scenario, the analysis of the trends of key socioeconomic development and environmental indicators is based on “no policy change” scenario in order to envisage, with some degree of certainty and predictability, the trajectories of these key indicators, consequently the overall economic development and environment in light of the set SDGs and the Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development in Sudan.

Current Demographic Trends and its Future Impact: Under business as usual scenario, Sudan’s population will continue increasing at a relatively high rate, amounting to an average of 2.8% per annum. According to the United Nations (UN 2017), the population of the Sudan will double by 2050 from the current population of about 40.5 million inhabitants (United Nations, 2017).

At the same time, land size had actually reduced by 24.7%, following the separation of South Sudan in 2011. Land remains the key resource for food production with per capita arable land declining from 1 hectare per person in 1961 down to 0.38 hectare per person in 2015.



Fig (10.11): Arable Land Hectare per Person (1961 – 2015) in Sudan

Source: World Bank, 2018


With the fall in per capita arable land, farmers are forced to encroach onto fragile and marginal ecosystems, yielding low productivity per farming unit associated with environmental deterioration. For example, Sudan recorded the lowest Sorghum productivity in Africa, for the 2017 – 2018 agricultural seasons.

It amounts to 225 km/feddan only while as high as 2,142.86 km/feddan in Egypt, 837.78km/feddan in Ethiopia, 489.72 km/feddan in Nigeria, 416 km/feddan in Mali and 400 km/feddan in Burkina Faso (USA Agricultural Department, 2018).

This decline in productivity per unit leads inevitably to a decline in an overall food production in the country. With no adoption of more appropriate farming technologies and on-farming management system, per capita food production will decline further through time due to land degradation.

The inevitable results are (i) the failure of Sudan to meet its goals expressed in Food Security Program, Poverty Reduction Strategy, and in “Zero Hunger” program under the SDGs, therefore (ii) sustained increase in demands for imported food.

A recent study depicts a gloomy future trend of the link between population growth and the growing demand for food production.

The demand for food in the Sudan is projected to increase due to a growing population and rising incomes.

Staple food demand, consisting of cereals and roots, is projected to grow from 6.5 million tonnes in 2010 to 10.1 million tonnes in 2030, dairy products from 6.3 to 9.7 million tonnes and sugar from 0.9 to 3.4 million tonnes. From 2017 to 2030, demand for these three products is projected to increase by 35, 56, and 157 per cent, respectively.

On the production side, staple foods, dairy products, sugar, fats, and meat products are projected to increase by 6.8, 56, 21, 14, and 23 per cent, respectively.

Although this sharp deficit could be filled with imports, this would add to challenges at the national level for the Government budget and trade deficits, as well as the international challenge of making adequate supplies of food available to a growing population worldwide (Siddig, et al., 2018).

This alarming situation is aggravated further by the prevailing land policies. The current land tenure system, land use, and rights of access and or ownership in Sudan have been central factors in the recurring violent conflicts in Sudan in the past and the present.

Also, effective implementation of many national development and investment projects, are impeded because of a sharp dualism in the land tenure system. This dualism is between communal customary unrecorded laws and traditional institutions with no legal recognition to rights of ownership in civil courts, on the one hand, and the modern statutory land laws regulated by civil institutions and courts.

This sharp dualism is, to a large extent, the main triggering factor of the recurring disputes and violent conflicts over land between the State and local communities affected by some national development and investment projects.

Despite this, land reform policies and principles enshrined in the CPA, and transformed into “Articles” in the Transitional Constitution with an aim of harmonizing these competing land tenure sub-systems, remain unimplemented since 2005 to the present day.

Most importantly, the Constitution stipulates that “Land Commission” shall be established at Federal and State levels to be regulated by its own Act in order to regulate land tenure, rights of ownership and access among different users and stakeholders.

Without such land policies reform, achieving SDGs, the Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development, enduring peace and political stability in Sudan are likely to remain unattainable targets.

Water Resources: Availability, Accessibility and Sustainability: As detailed in Chapter 5, Sudan is endowed with substantial water resources that include precipitation, rivers, seasonal streams, lakes and groundwater aquifers. The country also opens onto the Red Sea with a 750-km coast.

The inland waters exhibit a wide spectrum of lotic and lentic waters, fresh and salty, Nilotic and non-Nilotic.

The estimated total available water in Sudan is 28 Km3 including Sudan’s share of water from the Nile according to the 1959 Agreement with Egypt (see Table 1 in Chapter 5 above).

Despite this, the Sudan is classified as a water-scarcity country because of several factors including (i) its inability to effectively utilize the available water resources in different forms including its share from the 1959 Nile Agreement, and poor and limited water harvest program; (ii) continuous decrease in the storage capacity available in the Sudanese reservoirs, due to siltation and debris accumulation despite the recent construction of new and heightening of some existing dams; (iii) different types of water resources are under threat from pollution, unregulated economic development, bad water governance and climate change.

One major result is a gradual decrease in the actual per capita consumption of water in the water stress zone. For example, Chapter 5 concisely demonstrates that the current access to safe drinking water in Sudan in general is 58.7% (urban: 69.4, rural: 51.6) while 40% of the basic schools in Sudan are in short of water.

Accordingly, the level of water coverage in Sudan in general is low and lagging behind the population growth, urbanization growth and the rising in the consumption demands for water from different sectors, namely domestic consumption, agriculture, industry, hydropower generation and many other users.

As water stressed country, Sudan faces many water-related challenges ranging from water scarcity for universal water requirements and safe drinking water to inadequate sanitation provision to water pollution.

Most importantly, water scarcity threatens food security, energy production and environmental integrity resulting in water use conflicts at different levels and scales of social and economic organizations.

With the current population of Sudan and the current uses of water for the different purposes, the country’s per capita water availability is about 660 cu m, placing Sudan already below the water stress margin of 1000 cu m per capita. Furthermore, the demand for water increases as urbanization and rural development grow at a rate higher than that of the population.

Water, in terms of availability, accessibility, affordability, quality and sustainability, is fundamental indicator toward achieving SDGs and the Agenda 2030 for sustainable development. About fourteen of the SDGs are related to water in one way or another.

Thus, lack of access to safe water hinders the socio-economic development and environmental conservation in rural areas away from the Nile, causing conflict over water between pastoralists and farmers that may escalate to higher level as demonstrated by the Darfur case.

The introduction of the “Zero attash or thirst” program since 2016, to bridge the gap in the availability and access for water supply for humans and livestock within 500 meters in all rural areas of Sudan by the year 2020, has not yet materialized at the end of 2018.

This is essentially because, as detailed in Chapter 5, either there are policies with no implementations, and or there are gaps in policies that need to be introduced. Thus, under this situation of “business as usual”, the future water stress condition is expected to be more acute, and that is likely to negatively contribute towards impeding the achievement of SDGs, the Agenda 2030 for sustainable development, enduring peace and political stability in Sudan.

Climate Changes: Climate change is a reality with far reaching and multiple repercussions. It has direct impact on the trend of economic development and environment.

Key indicators of climate change include, but are not limited to, an increase in temperature, precipitation variability, drought, floods, and landslides. Several studies demonstrated that the Sudan has witnessed and continues to experience all these climatic changes.

An analysis of the rainfall records from twelve meteorological stations in different parts of the Sudan showed that there has been a clear decrease in the annual rainfall over the last 30 to 40 years (see Table 10.2).

Moreover, it is evident that Sudan will not only experience changes in mean temperature, which are projected to increase by up to 3°C by 2050, and precipitation, which is projected to increase by four percent per decade, but also increasing rainfall variability with increased frequency of both droughts and floods (USAID, 2016).

Other source projected that by 2060 Sudan’s temperature is projected to rise between 1.1 °C and 3.1 °C” (Britton, 2016). Fig (10.12) below summarizes the potential effects of climate stressors, including drought, rainfall variability, floods, temperature increases, seawater temperature increases, and sea level rise, on different sectors, areas, and communities in the Sudan.


Table (10.2): Analysis of Rainfall Records of Selected Meteorological Stations in the Sudan.

Station Years of Records Yearly Drop in Rainfall (mm/year)
Damazine 1952/91 -5.4
Gedarif 1952/92 +0.5
Kosti 1952/92 -3.03
Obied 1952/92 -5.0
Sennar 1952/92 -3.9
Kadugli 1952/92 -3.99
Nyala 1952/90 -5.12

Source: Modified from Osman, 2018.

In a country where agriculture, which is mainly rain-fed, is a major contributor to gross domestic product, foreign exchange earnings, and livelihoods, the impacts of these changes are critically to future development paths. Climate change increases the vulnerability of certain social communities, such as poor farmers, pastoralists and generally communities that rely on rain-fed agriculture. As 93 per cent of annually cultivated land in Sudan is rain-fed, such environmental changes are decisive determinants that affect the entire economy and the livelihoods of all directly or indirectly.

Without policies that reverse such trends, it is extremely difficult to attain SDGs and the Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development in Sudan.

Fig (10.12): Climate Stressors and their Potential Impact on Sectors, Areas, and Communities

Source: Modified from Saddig et al., 2018.


Economic Growth and Development:

The oil sector had driven much of Sudan’s GDP growth since 1999. But Sudan lost three-quarters of its oil production and revenues after the separation of South Sudan in July 2011 resulting in severe economic shock.

Ongoing conflicts in Southern Kordofan, Darfur, and the Blue Nile states, lack of basic infrastructure in large areas, and reliance by much of the population on subsistence agriculture, keep close to half of the population at or below the poverty line (Theodora, 2018).

Sudan suffers from lack economic efficiency manifested in poor performance of its economic key indicators such economic growth rates, inflation rates, balance of trade and poverty rates, among many others.

As depicted in part 10.4.2 above, the overall trend of annual economic growth rates is declining; inflation rates trend is increasing through time; and balance of trade in Sudan is averaging. Moreover, Sudan suffers from lack of social equity manifested in sharp and widening disparities in regional and social distribution of national development attributes and social services between and among different regions as well as among different social groupings. Sudan’s HDI value for 2017 is 0.502 and that position Sudan at 167 out of 189 countries (UNDP, 2018).

The heart of the matter is that the HDIs are linked strongly with SDGs goals and the Agenda 2030 for Sustainable development. Thus, SDGs goals and the Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development cannot be achieved in a country with low HDI as the case of Sudan.

Predictably, with “business as usual” scenario, where there is no change in economic and social development policies, the overall trend of the above mentioned economic indicators are likely to continue recording low rates in the foreseeable future and beyond.

Governance and Institutional Structures: Sudan prolong and recurring political violent, therefore, absence of peace remain the main factor that impede achievement of economic growth and development. This is essentially due to the nature of governance, in this case bad governance.

The sustained political instability associated with social disruption in different parts of Sudan leave no room for endurable peace and stability. Due to this political instability, there is no stability in government policies, plans, programs and structures even during same governing regime.

Effective economic and social development requires short, medium and long team plans and or strategies but effective economic development is not achievable where there are quick cycles of government formation, dissolution, and reformation.

Moreover, due to too many agreements (CPA, Abuja 1 and 2, Doha, Eastern Sudan Agreement, and many others to come) there is a constant change in Ministers coupled with restructuring of some ministries for the sake of accommodating new partners in the government as a result of successive peace agreements.

The recent dissolution and formation of new cabinet at federal level in October 2018 illustrate this. The cabinet which did not last for one year was dissolved, and the ministries were reduced from 31 to 21 through amalgamation of some ministries. In this process Ministry of Environment, Natural Resources and Urban Development was dissolved with Environment and Natural Resource Management reduced to Higher Council for Environment and Natural Resources.

The continuation of political violence in Darfur, Nuba Mountains/ South Kordofan and Blue Nile, political tensions between the government and the opposition parties, and the recurring process of dissolution and reformation of the government at federal and state levels implies that there will be no government’s institutional stability, and no stability of long term economic, social, environmental, and natural resource management plans, policies and programs.

The prevalence of such situation is likely to have negative impacts on the abilities and capacities of different ministries and other government institutions to meet such long terms policies, plans and program including the SDGs and the Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development in Sudan.

Urbanization: Although urbanization is not a new phenomenon, Sudan is urbanizing rapidly in the recent years.

This trend whether intended or unintended is a result of a set of policies pertained to spatial and social allocation of development attributes along the Sudan landscapes at different time of its national economic and social development process.

The prevalence of “no policy change scenario” implies further impact of those human and natural factors, therefore, a more rising trend of urbanization. One far reaching negative impact is manifested in the depopulation of rural areas and overpopulation of the urban areas.

This is followed by excessive pressure over already fragile urban infrastructures and social services, namely water sanitation, education, health, transport and housing, associated with increase in unemployment and poverty rates, social disruption, human insecurity, and a decline in the overall quality of life of the Sudanese population at large.

Furthermore, an increase of urbanization trend leads to severe shortage of agricultural labor, therefore, a sharp decrease in food production in rural areas and sharp increase in food demand in urban areas.

Surprisingly, contrary to the intended objectives of the introduced federal system and decentralization of power, wealth and services to reach people in rural and remote areas, rural-urban migration trend increased while the delivery of economic and social services, and infrastructures deteriorated during the current federal system of governance in rural and urban areas alike.

This suggests that the existing economic development policies require a revisit in order to respond more effectively to the current high and rising trend of urbanization in Sudan.

Technological Changes: There is an increasing role of science, technology and innovation (STI) in our daily activities, however in its present forms, STI are not working for everyone.

In addition, the potentials for STI to help promote sustainable development (SD), by improving productivity and quality, enhancing governance, business practices and public policies, is yet to be fully harnessed. Sudan experienced technological and transformative changes in almost all sectors, namely industry, agriculture, agro-business, social services, transportation and communication networks, to mention a few.

The term technology refers to the branch of knowledge concerned with applied sciences and means the systematic treatment, study, use and application of scientific knowledge for practical purposes, such as in industry.

The rate of technological change is often defined by the rate of increase in the stock of knowledge and relates to the effect it introduces in shifting the production function, leading to either a new shift or an upward shift in the production function (Nour, 2011).

Technological changes leads to the introduction of new products, services or methods of production; improvement in the quality of existing product or service; development of new markets; exploitation of new sources of supply; and reorganization of methods of operation.

Technological change in these aspects is hardly felt currently in Sudan.


Several environmental indicators indicate that the Sudan’s ecosystems and natural resources are deteriorating.

Temperatures are rising, water supplies are getting scarcer, soil fertility is getting lower, productive land is shrinking through time while marginal and infertile lands are increasing.

After years of desertification and cycles of droughts, many rich biodiversity areas in Sudan are under threat, with many flora and fauna species disappearing.

Many economic activities and the way they exploit ecosystem and biological resources impacted negatively on different elements of biodiversity.

Practices like overgrazing, over cultivation, and most importantly, mechanized farming and artisan gold mining are good examples of economic activities with far-reaching negative impact on biodiversity.

Deforestation expanding trend is essentially due to mechanized farming in Gedarif, Blue Nile, Sennar, South Kordofan and South Darfur. Environmental pollution and hazards affecting many lives and health of peoples, and uncounted animal and plant species are all evident in the present state of environment in Sudan.

Chapter 6 points the fact that the loss of biodiversity and ecosystem services impact negatively on peoples’ health through depletion of food, raw materials and medicines due to the current trend of loss of biodiversity.

To exemplify, it states that Sudan’s forest area declined steadily from more than 40% percent of Sudan’s total area in the 1950s to 27% at the beginning of the millennium before declining further to 10.3% in 2015, essentially due to agricultural expanding, rising demand for wood for energy and construction.

Certainly, this current trend of biodiversity loss affects in many ways food security, livelihoods, and ecosystem, therefore, sustainable development in the Sudan’s foreseen future.

10. 5.2: Bending the Curve Scenario: shaping future changes and development

In this scenario, the analysis of the trends of key socioeconomic development and environmental indicators is based on “policy change” that aims to positively influence the future trends in favour of sustainable development in light of the set SDGs and the Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development in Sudan.

Shaping Demographic Future Trends: under bending the curve scenario, future trend of demographic dynamics can be shaped through a number of policy changes: first, Sudan population growth rate is likely to continue rising, with more demand for basic needs and services including food.

Therefore, one future policy is to introduce and adopt more appropriate farming technologies and on-farming management system in order to increase per capita food production and productivity per unit land. Second, more arable land in dry lands can be brought under cultivation through expansion of water harvest program, particularly among small farmers in rural areas.

Third, need for review of current laws, policies, and practices pertained to land tenure, ownership and access rights, which are the key contributing factors to low production, productivity, therefore, food insecurity.

Forth dualism in land tenure between customary and communal land tenure and rights, on the one hand, and statutory land laws needs harmonization through progressive integration of customary land rights into modern land rights based on best international experiences.

Land reform policies and principles enshrined in the CPA, and transformed into “Articles” in the Transitional Constitution with an aim of harmonizing these competing land tenure sub-systems, must be implemented.

In this regard, “Land Commission” shall be established at federal and state levels to be regulated by its own Act in order to regulate land tenure, rights of ownership and access among different users and stakeholders. Such land policies reform may contribute positively in achieving SDGs, the Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development, enduring peace and political stability in Sudan.

Better Management and Use of Water Resources: Although Sudan has abundant water resources from diversified sources; they are poorly managed and underutilized essentially due to water policies, institutional and regulatory frameworks.

Thus, available water is not accessible to sizeable needy population in rural and urban areas. ‘Bending the curve” implies that efficient and effective institutions, policies, and legislations; and implementation of integrated water resources management (IWRM) must be in place in order to maximize utilization of available water resources. Water harvesting techniques and technology need to be enhanced and scaled up.

In this way, water resources could constitute a pivotal component in improving the economy of the country and upgrading the quality of its people, environmentally, socially and economically.

Mitigating Climate Change and Variability: Although Sudan has embarked on mainstreaming of environmental and natural resource management issues in national development plans, much more efforts and investments are required to effectively shape future trend and reduce the impact of climate and variability on human, environment, and production, particularly in agricultural and rural economies.

The focus is on, but not limited to the following: (i) developing programs and projects for mitigation of and adaptation to the effects of climate change within the agricultural and rural development sector; (ii) enhancing land ownership especially for animal producers to legally use land similar to crop producers and demarcating and mapping livestock routes and enforcing their use in order to increase access to natural productive assets; (iii) addressing water shortages by encouraging water harvesting and the full utilization of rainfall and seasonal streams outside the Nile Basin, using groundwater, and developing drought resistant crop varieties; and (iv) treating water as a scarce resource and enhancing its efficient use, especially in irrigated agriculture, to best utilize Sudan’s share of Nile water.

Efficient and Equitable Economic Growth and Development: Sudan needs efficient and sustained economic growth and equitable development policies in order to shape its future pathways towards achieving Sustainable Development.

This is achievable through (i) meeting the basic needs towards the aspiration for a better improved quality life; (ii) adhering to governance and rule of law principles, and peace; and (iii) promoting employment in an economy, whose strength is based on education, innovation, social cohesion, and the protection of human health and the environment. Following Bascom (2016), Sudan is still lagging behind by far towards meeting SDGs, and it suffers from conspicuous imbalances in the three the pillars of Sustainable Development: Environment, Economic, and Social (see Fig. (10.13).


Fig (10.13): Striking the balance between the three pillars of sustainable development*ifU7e2QcLDC0GeXLi1Zd0g.jpeg

Source: Bascom, 2016

In short, Sudan needs an alternative scenario of bending the curve to strike the balance between these three pillars – economic, social and environment – towards achieving sustainability which is “bearable”, “equitable”, and “viable”. Such balance will foster achieving almost all SDGs, namely poverty alleviation, gender equality, capacity building, clean technology, clear institutional framework, economic growth and development, sustained biodiversity (protection & conservation of ecological services).

Towards Natural Resource Governance Framework: To shape future trend in natural resource and environmental governance, Sudan needs a shift from its current environment and natural resources and embark on coherent national NRG.

The focus is on the instruments, institutions regulatory processes, mechanisms, organizations, norms aiming at changes in NRM-related incentives, knowledge, decision-making and behaviors of people and organizations in the management of natural resources.

This requires multi-stakeholders participatory processes at different levels to determine how power and responsibilities over natural resources are exercised (Nyariki, D. et al., 2010). Such NRG must be guided by global principles and values including, but not limited to, the following: (i) democracy and participation in NRM; (ii) sustainability and valuing nature; (iii) Justice, equality and equity; (iv) reconciling between social legitimacy with legality inland and natural resources.

Government authorities at all levels have to welcome participation and collaborate with existing social organizations and structures, including customary authorities; both state and community authorities have to adhere to integrity and commitment, authority and representation, and legitimacy in the exercise of authority, and the acceptance and justification of shared rule by a community; (v) inclusiveness and co-management systems of natural resource; and (vi) competent institutions with effective laws, policies, and enforcement mechanisms and measures in sustaining environment and natural resources.

Institutional Functional and Structural Reforms: Chapter Two maps federal institutions and governance frameworks related to environment and natural resources.

Table (3) in subsection 4.2, the same chapter lists some the leading ministries and agencies. In this respect, Sudan seems to have well established institutions that deal with environment and natural capital. However, most of these institutions lack vertical and horizontal coordination and complementarities when engaging with environment and natural resources in terms of use, regulation and management.

Moreover, they suffer from lack or weak enforcement mechanisms. The aggregate result is poor governance and depletion of natural resource capital and environment through time and space.

The way forward is to embark on comprehensive institutional functional and structural reforms through a number of actions. First, urgent policy action is to review and reform the current institutional structures and their functional linkages to ensure integration, synchronization and complementarities.

Second, introduction of a set of institutional policies, legislations and governance frameworks that deal with environment and natural capital in an integrated manner in national development planning and implementation processes.

Third, the future focus is to be on improving two sets of natural resource institutional frameworks/ arrangements/ instruments: (i) Institutional Policy Frameworks and (ii) Institutional Legal Frameworks to ensure better management and sustainable use of water, rangeland and livestock rearing, forestland, farming land, and pastoral livelihoods.

In addition to the formal/ government institutional arrangements and instruments, more emphasis is to invest more on the existing community-based institutions.

Curbing Urbanization, Investing in Rural Development: Most of rural urban migration in Sudan is driven by climate change and variability resulting in depletion of natural resources (water, arable and grazing lands) and disruption of livelihood base.

This situation is worsening by rural underdevelopment and poverty, urban-biased development policies, and protracted and recurring civil wars and violent conflicts.

In the absence of balanced national development interventions, urban overpopulation and rural depopulation with continue to negatively shape the future Sudan.

To achieve sustainable development including meeting 2030 Agenda and SDGs, urbanization trend must be curtailed by introducing national policies that provide development inceptives in rural areas. In this case, investing in natural capital for sustainable rural development is an answer.

Technological Changes and Innovations: No doubt that technological change and innovations are pre-requisites for achieving sustainable development.

They are key determinants towards fulfilment of better management of natural resources particularly in alternative energy sources, economic stabilisation, balanced development, economic diversification and transformation, poverty alleviation, reduction of unemployment and restructuring of the labour market.

Toward that ends, Sudan need to shift from low to high Research and Development (R&D) efforts, and from low to high skill human capital. Moreover, Sudan is yet to institutionalize and adopt many good practices and lessons learned, from many internationally funded projects in Sudan and elsewhere, in areas of innovations and technological changes.

The focus is to be on environment friendly technologies, techniques and innovations in agricultural, industrial and energy production and uses.

The entry point is to review the existing national policies pertained to education, training and skill development nationwide to ensure that they are innovative enough to lead technological changes for sustainable development in future Sudan.

Regeneration of Biodiversity: Sudan has rich and diverse environment and natural resources. However, a large proportion of this rich biodiversity has been affected by civil war, climate change, drought, overgrazing, imprudent use of natural resources, expansion of mono-crop agriculture at the expense of natural resource areas, poaching, and smuggling.

The increasing dependence on forest resources and pressure on habitats in the country is enough reason for urgent action towards sustainable natural resource management.

To shape the state of biodiversity requires several concrete steps including comprehend and institutionalize the economic, cultural, spiritual and social values associated to the biodiversity and their habitats; and to introduce national policies that ensure sustained mainstreaming of biodiversity in development and SDGs in an effective manner.

10.5.3: “Business as Usual” vs. “Bending the Curve” Scenarios

In a nutshell, Table (10.3) below attempts to comparatively summarize how the bending curve scenario will shape the future dynamics of some key selected issues, factors or drivers in favour of sustainable development in Sudan.

The bending curve scenario is a function of a set of well-coordinated and integrated policies, institutional and legal frameworks with direct or indirect links with the state of environment and natural resource capital.

Accordingly, Table (10.4) demonstrated diagrammatically how the anticipated alternative policies would bend the curve; therefore, reverse gradually the current negative trends of some key issues/ factors, thus, shape the future trends of key factors, namely economy, population, environment, technology, urbanization, equity/ equality, and conflict, among many others.


Table (10.3): “Business as Usual” Scenario vs. “Bending the Curve” Scenario


Key Issue/ Factor “Business as Usual Scenario”

Current State: (No Change in Policies)

“Bending the Curve Scenario”

Future State: (Changes in Policies)

Population 1. High population growth rates 1. Moderate population growth rates
2. Massive rural-urban migration trend 2. Decreasing rural-urban migration trend
3. High birth rates and high mortality rates 3. Moderate birth rates and low mortality rates
Economic Growth and Development 1. Low economic growth rates (economic inefficiency) 1. High to moderate economic growth rates (economic efficiency)
2. Widening regional and social inequity and disparities in national development (economic inequity/inequality) 2. Socially and spatially balanced and equitable development (economic equity/ equality)
3. Dependency on single or few natural resources 3. Broad base and diversified economic production sources
4. Non-agricultural based economic investments 4. Agricultural based SMART economic investments
5. Primary and raw material exports 5. Processed or manufactured exports
6. High and rising trend of poverty rates 6. Low and decreasing poverty rates
7. Rising trend of deficit in Trade of Balance 7. Decreasing and eventually surplus in Trade of Balance
8. Recurring food insecurity and insufficiency associated in pressure on environment and natural resources 8. Give priority to food security and sufficiency in national economic strategy
9. Poor performance in the implementation of SDGs, resulting in Sudan being lagging behind by far, occupying position 167 out of 189 countries in Human Development Index (HDI) 9. Review and strengthen institutions, policies and mechanisms in charge of the implementation and realization of SDGs within the set time frame while improving its HDI ranking
Environment and Natural Resource Governance 1. Sector-based (ministries) non-coordinated environment and natural resources’ POLICY framework 1. Coherent and coordinated environment and natural resources’ INSTITUTIONAL POLICY framework
2. Regional-based (federal, state and locality levels) non-coordinated environment and natural resources’ POLICIES framework 2. Coherent and coordinated environment and natural resources’ POLICIES framework at federal, intra-and-interstate, and locality levels
3. Several overlapping regulations, laws and legislations; and competing regimes related to environment and natural resource GOVERNANCE 3. Establishment of coherent and integrated environment and natural resources GOVERNANCE framework
4. Lack or weak culture of environmentally sound development and practices at individual, societal and institutional levels 4. Promotion of environmentally sound development in terms of appropriate technologies, techniques, practices and behaviors
Land Tenure System and Rights 1. Prevalence of dualism in land tenure between statutory private/ public subsystem, on one hand, and customary communal land tenure sub-system, on the other, with no legal recognition of land rights based on customary ownership 1. Harmonization of land regulations, laws, and legislations in order to recognize, therefore, integrate the customary rights into land statutory law according to the best international experiences and practices
2. Absence of comprehensive national land use map associated with competing and destructive use and misuse of environment and natural resources along sector and spatial divides 2. Development of comprehensive national land use map to guide and allows for effective and sustainable utilization and management of environment and natural resources nationwide
3. Increasing numbers of poor and landless individuals and communities resulting in more pressure on environment and natural resources, and increasing trend in land-based recurring violent conflicts at different levels and scales 3. Land policy reform to empower the poor and landless to access productive land and natural resources for their livelihoods and food security; therefore, reduces poverty and violent conflicts
4. Lack of political will and commitment to establish Land Commissions at federal and, consequently, at state levels though enshrined in the Interim National Constitutions of 2005 4. Establishment of Land Commissions at federal and state levels in order to lead the processes of land reforms, and harmonization of land policies, laws and legislations
Climate Change and Variability 1. Frequent droughts, rising temperatures, rain shortages resulting in multi-dimensional and far reaching negative repercussions on population, economy, natural resource capital, and the entire environment 1. Development and introduction of comprehensive and integrated national strategy for mitigation of and adaptation to climate change and variability
2. Agriculture failures and or reduction in productivity and production resulting in food insecurity and famines 2. Adoption of drought resilient crops, agricultural technologies, techniques, best on-farm management, harvest and storage practices
3. Degradation of fertile land, desertification, and deterioration of natural resource capital 3. Land reclamation, revitalization of desertification compact program, and natural resource conservation
4. Climate driven migrations and conflicts. 4. Rehabilitation of climate affected areas
Political State of Affairs 1. Perpetual political disarray, associated with multiple contestations and disputes over the very fundamentals of a modern state, i.e., national identity and national permanent constitution 1. Arriving at national consensus through genuine and inclusive dialogue on issues pertain to wealth-and-power sharing, political governance, and management of socio-cultural diversities
2. Protracted and recurring civil wars and violent conflicts due to many interwoven factors and motives 2. Arriving at just, inclusive and lasting peace agreement that address the root as well as the emerged causes of civil wars and violent conflicts nationwide
3. Weak political will and commitment towards some international conventions related to sustainable use and management of environment and natural resources 3. Review and reinforcement of Sudan membership in key international and regional organizations and agreements related to sustainable environment and natural resource use and management


Table (10.4): Trend Changes in Response to Alternative Policies (Bending the Curve Scenario)



Business as Usual Scenario

(No Changes in Policies)

Bending the Curve Scenario

(Change in Policies)



Equity/ Equality

Related image


Related image


Image result for icon Urbanization

10.6. Policy options for future sustainable development

One key overall conclusion derived from all chapters, including this one, is that the Sudan’s aggregate achievements in economic, social, institutional and political fields are, by far, lagging towards meeting SDGs, therefore, attaining sustainable development and the 2030 agenda.

Thus, the burning question is what those alternative policies that would bring desired changes towards achieving sustainable development in Sudan? Table (10.5) highlights some alternative policy options that would positively influence the future trends of specific issues that act as main challenges for Sudan in achieving sustainable development.

The focus is on the links between key factors and their specific challenging issues, on one hand, and suggested policy options aiming at achieving SDGs, on the other.

Table (10.5): Future Alternative Policy Options and Achievement of SDGs

Factors Factors’ Specific Issues Policy Options Targeted SDGs
Population and demographic dynamics High illiteracy rate

– Slow and weak gender mainstreaming in national policies, plans, and education

– Environmentally destructive consumption and production

– Reduction and alleviation of illiteracy

– Acceleration of gender mainstreaming in national policies, plans, and education

– Promotion of environment friendly consumption and production

Quality Education (4)

– Gender Equality (5)

– Responsible Consumption and Production (12)

Land and Agricultural development – Land tenure dualism associated with conflicts

– Competing, overlapping and uncoordinated institutional, sector and legal land related policy frameworks

– Less focus on agricultural investments and infrastructures

– Increasing landless peoples, particularly rural women and poor households

– Increase agriculture productivity and production through a set of key (policy) changes in funding, appropriate technologies and techniques, and marketing

– Undertake land legal and institutional reforms

– Harmonization and integration of land tenure system

– Policy shift in national investment and development towards agricultural sector

– Poverty reduction

– Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions (16)

– Gender Equality (5)

– Responsible Consumption and Production (12)

Economic Growth and Development – Natural resource high dependency state

– Low productivity and production

– Low economic growth rates

– Sustained deficit in balance of trade

– High and rising unemployment rate among the youth

– Weak economic institutions associated with misappropriations of economic resource and natural resource capital

– Diversification of economic production among different productive sectors and regions

– Policy, institutional and legal reforms of economic sector

– Review and revitalization of agricultural sector

– Promotion of agro-business and agricultural related manufacturing and processing industries

Poverty reduction (1)

Zero Hunger (2)

– Good Health and Wellbeing (3)

– Decent Work and Economic Growth (8)

– Reduced Inequalities (10)

– Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions (16)

Urbanization and Rural Development – Massive and sustained trend of rural urban migration

– Urban-biased development policies particularly physical and social services (roads, water, education, health)

– Lack of national strategy that integrates rural and urban functions and linkages as one continuum

– Balanced and integrated development along regional and social dimensions

– Establishment of national land agency to coordinate national physical planning

– Shift focus towards rural development and investments

– Adoption of urban physical strategy that curbs unplanned settlement without services

– Sustainable Cities and Communities (11)

– Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions (16)

Poverty reduction (1)

– Decent Work and Economic Growth (8)

– Reduced Inequalities (10)

– Clean Water and Sanitation (6)

Governance and Institutions – Weak national governance frameworks

Weak and non-coordinated governance institutions

– Absence of enforcing mechanisms and regulations

– Lack of good governance, transparency, accountability

– Introduction of policies aiming at institutional strengthening

– Promotion and institutionalization of principles good governance, transparency, and accountability

– Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions (16)

– Partnership for Goals (17)

Technological Changes and Innovations – Weak or no national policies that encourages promotion of appropriate technologies in Sudan

– Weak of no academic or training institutions that promote innovations and industrial developments in Sudan through R&D

– Lack of comprehensive and consistent policies that give incentives and promote collaboration between public and private institutions

– Initiation of national policies that guide and promote technological changes and innovations in different sectors particularly in agriculture and agro-industrial activities

– Introduction of national policies that put R&D a top priority in national development strategy

– Implementation of consistent policies, increasing incentives and collaboration between public and private institutions in technology and innovations

– Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure (9)

– Responsible Consumption and Production (8)

– Decent Work and Economic Growth (8)

Climate Changes and Variability – Sudan lagging behind in achieving SDGs, including Climate Action SDG (13)

– Climate change and variability is one of the key determinants to the declining natural resource capital, and agricultural productivity and production, consequently, food insecurity in Sudan

– Climate resilience and adaptation initiatives and projects in Sudan are mostly driven and funded by external donors or agencies

Acceleration and intensification of adaptation and resilience measures such as drought resistant and early maturing crop varieties, crop husbandry practices, soil and water management and agro-forestry

– Promote the diffusion and adoption of existing promising technologies through increasing agricultural extension services

Acceleration of Sudan engagement with Climate Action SDG (13)

– Climate Action (13)

– Life on Land (15)

– Life below Water (14)

– Responsible Consumption and Production (12)

– Poverty reduction (1)

Environment, Natural Resource and Biodiversity – No national environment and natural resource governance framework in place in Sudan

– Though highly interconnected, different components of environment and natural resources are scattered in different sectors driven by competing policies and plans, with no interlinks and integration

– Most of the initiatives and intervention projects, aiming at sustainable management of environment and natural resources, are externally driven and or funded

– Less attention is paid to conservation of biodiversity in the country, especially the threatened ecosystem and species

– Initiation of bottom up process that involves all stakeholders to arriving at establishing coherent and cost effective national “Natural Resource Governance Framework” (NRGF)

– Strengthening and reinforcement of natural resource policies vertically at federal, state, local and community levels as well as horizontally between different sectors related to environment and natural resource use and management

– Establishing a national institution, independent from all executive institutions (ministries), with legal and administrative power to initiate and enforce policies, institutional arrangements, and regulations pertained to biodiversity, natural resources, and environment in an integrated and holistic manner

– Clean Water and Sanitation (6)

– Affordable and Clean Energy (7)

– Responsible Consumption and Production (12)

– Life below Water (14)

– Life on Land (15)

– Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions (16)

Equity and Equality – Rising trends of social, inter-intra-regional disparities in development

– Increasing rate of poverty associated with destructive economic use and exploitation of environment and natural resources

– Fragile state institutions associated with poor governance, socio-political disruption, absence of peace, injustice, inequity and inequalities

– Initiation of national policies, aiming at stirring balanced, equitable, and sustained socio-economic development, among different regions, social strata and gender, while achieving sustainable environment and natural resource management

– Increase level of political commitment toward poverty reduction

– Arriving at just and lasting peace and starts genuine process of state building and national integration

– Gender Equality (5)

– Reduced Inequalities (10)

– Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions (16)


Ahmed Allam (Ed.). 2018. Technological Transformation for Sudan’s Sustainable Inclusive Development. Online:, accessed October 29, 2018.

Altera, R. Swart. 2009. Scenarios and international environmental assessments. Wageningen, UR.

Arsdale van, Peter W. 1989. “The Ecology of Survival in Sudan’s Periphery: Short-Term Tactics and Long-Term Strategies”. Africa Today 36 (3/4): 65-78.

Bascom, C. R. 2019. From Economic Growth to Sustainable Development; online: accessed February 6th, 2019.

Bianca Britton, CNN. 2016. Climate Change Could Render Sudan an ‘Uninhabitable’. Online:, accessed October 28, 2018.

CBS 2018

Central Bureau of Statistics. 2018.Censuses and Social Statistics Department. 2018. Sudan Projected Population, Distribution by States, 2016 – 2022; and Sudan Projected Population 2020-2030. Khartoum: Central Bureau of Statistics – Censuses and Social Statistics Department.

Clever. 2017. Sudan State of Environment and Outlook Authors’ Training Workshop: PPP Notes on Scenarios, Session 6b. Khartoum, Grant Holiday Villa.

Cotula, L., S. Vermeulen, R. Leonard, and J. Keeley. 2009. Land Grab or Development Opportunity? Agricultural Investment and Land Deals in Africa. IIED/FAO/IFAD: London/Rome.

Deng, David K. 2011. The New Frontier: a Baseline Survey of Large-scale Land-based investment in Southern Sudan. Norwegian People’s Aid, Oslo. Online:, accessed March 9, 2019.

FAO. 2019. Sudan Vegetation Cover. Online: accessed September 3, 2018.

Geography Statistics of Sudan: online:; accessed September 9, 2018.



GRAIN. 2012. Land grab deals. Barcelona. Online:, accessed March 9, 2019.

Henrichs, Thomas. 2009. Environmental Scenario Analysis. METIER Training Course No 7- MODULE 4. National Environmental Research Institute University of Aarhus.

Hume, Mike. 1990. “The changing rainfall resources of Sudan”. Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers 15(1): 21-34.

Index Mundi. 2018. Sudan Inflation Rates (Consumer Prices); online:; accessed September 13, 2018

International Origination for Migration. 2018. Sudan. Online:; accessed September 11, 2018.

International Organization for Migration. 2018. Migration in Sudan, Country Profile. online:; Online: accessed September 11, 2018.

Kahn, Herman and A. J. Wiener. 1967. The Uses of Scenarios. Hudson Institute. Online:, accessed March 9, 2019.

Khalid Siddig, Davit Stepanyan, Manfred Wiebelt, Tingju Zhu, and Harald Grethe. 2018. Climate Change and Agriculture in the Sudan: Impact pathways beyond changes in mean rainfall and temperature: Regional Program, Working Paper 13: IFPRI, Middle East and North Africa.

Komey, G. K. 2010. Land, Governance, Conflicts and the Nuba of Sudan. London: James Currey.

Komey, G. K. 2012. “Climate change and recurrent conflicts: interplay between nature and humans”. New Routes publication of Life and Peace Institute, 17(2): 34 -38.

Kristensen, Peter. 2014. The DPSIR Framework. UNEP, Nairobi.

Manzoul Assal. 2008. Urbanization and the future of Sudan. Online:, accessed September 14, 2018.

Mohamed, Y. A. and Egemi, O. 2012. Environmental Governance in Sudan: An Expert Review. Nairobi: UNDP.

Mugabe, P. H., W. O. Ochola and Y. Yemshow. 2010. “Research in Natural Resource Management”, in Ochola, W., P. Sanginga and I. Bekalo (eds.), Managing Natural Resources for Development in Africa: A Resource Book. IDRC, IIRR and RUFCBA: University of Nairobi Press: 449 -506.

Nyariki, D., P. Sanginga, Y. Yemshaw and W. Kakuru 2010. “Policy and Governance in Natural Resource Management”, in Ochola, W., P. Sanginga and I. Bekalo (eds.), Managing Natural Resources for Development in Africa: A Resource Book. IDRC, IIRR and RUFCBA: University of Nairobi Press:391 – 444.

Osman, A. K. 2017. Climate Change and Traditional Drylands Farming in Sudan; unpublished paper. Khartoum: Agricultural Research Corporation (ARC).

Rainfall over Sudan. 2018. Online:…4086.10283.0.11978.….0…1c.1.64.img..1.0.0….0.Zoa_YDUhLdI#imgrc=C9nTwv-IFcQzVM: accessed September 3, 2018.

Sadidig, Khalid, Davit S., Manfred W., Tingju Z., and Harald G. 2018. Climate Change and Agriculture in Sudan: impact pathways beyond changes in mean rainfall and temperature. IFPRI, MENA.

Nour, Samia Mohamed. 2013. Technological Changes and Skill Development: the Case of Sudan. Online:, accessed March 9, 2019.

Statista. 2018. Sudan: Urbanization from 2007 – 2017. Online:; accessed September 16, 2018.Sudan Economy. 2018. Online:; accessed September 14, 2018.

Sudan Inflation Rates (Consumer Prices) 2018. Online:; accessed September 13, 2018.

Sudan Map of Köppen Climate Classification Sudan Map. 2018: Online:öppen_climate_classification.svg; accessed September 3, 2018.

Sudan Population Density Map. 2018. Online: accessed September 3, 2018.

Theodora. 2019. Sudan Economy, 2019. Online:, accessed February 6th, 2019.

Trading Economics. 2018. Sudan GDP Per Capita. Online:, accessed September 13, 2018.

Trilsbach, A. and Hume, M. 1984. “Recent Rainfall Changes in Central Sudan and Their Physical and Human Implications”. Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers, New Series, 9(3): 280 – 298.

Wikipedia. 2018. Drivers, Pressures, State, Impact and Responses (DPSIR): Online:; online accessed, September 3, 2018.

Wilkinson, Andela and Eidinow, Esther. 2008. “Evolving Practices in Environmental Scenarios: A New Scenario Typology”, Environmental Research Letters (3): 1 – 11.

World Atlas Data, Sudan; online:; accessed September 16, 2018.

World Bank. 2010. Rising Global Interest in Farmlands: Can it Yield Sustainable and Equitable Benefits? New York: World Bank.

World Bank. 2018. Sudan Country Overview. Online:; accessed September 11, 2018.

World Bank. 2018. Arable Land Hectare per Person. Online:, accessed October 11, 2018.

World Bank. 2019. World Bank in Sudan, Country Profile: online;, accessed March 9, 2019.

World Bank Institute. 2010. Sustaining Natural Capital for Growth and Poverty Reduction in Sub-Saharan Africa: The Importance of Sustaining Natural Resource Capital (SNC). Online:, accessed March 9, 2019.

World Population Review. 2018. Sudan Population. Online;; accessed September 11, 2018.

UNDP. 2018. Human Development Indices and Indicators: Statistical Update: Briefing note for countries on the 2018 Statistical Update, Sudan. United Nations Development Programme.

UNEP. 2002. UNEP Global Environment Outlook 3: Past, Present and Future Perspectives. Nairobi: United Nations Environment Programme.

UN Human Development Report. 2018. Sudan. Online:

file:///E:/ALL/SOE%20in%20Sudan/State%20of%20Environment%20(SoE%20-%20Sudan/guma/CHPATER%2010/Basic%20Data/SDN%20Human%20Development%20Index%202018.pdf; accessed September 16, 2018

UN Human Development Report. 2018. Sudan. Online:, accessed September 16, 2018.

United Nations Commission for Africa. 2017. Survey on Economic Indicators of the Sustainable Development Goals in Africa: Availability of Indicators and Related Data Sources. ACS/ESNA.

United Nations. 2017. World Population Prospects: The 2017 Revision. New York: Department of Economic and Social Affairs, Population Division. Online:, accessed on October 20, 2018.

USAID. 2016. Climate Change Risk in Sudan: Country Fact Sheet. Washington, DC: USAID, cited in Saddig, Khalid et al., 2018.

Yanda, P. Z., T. Yatich, W. O. Ochola and N. Ngece. 2010. “Natural Resource Management in the Context of Climate Change”, in Ochola, W., P. Sanginga and I. Bekalo (eds.), Managing Natural Resources for Development in Africa: A Resource Book. IDRC, IIRR and RUFCBA: University of Nairobi Press: 263 – 311.


وزارة الصناعة (Ministry of Industry). 2018. السودان: أرض الفرص الواعدة. Online: file:///E:/ALL/SOE%20in%20Sudan/SoE%20May%20Chapters/Basic%20Data%20and%20Statistics/السودان%20ارض%20الفرص%20الصناعية.pdf accessed September 6, 2018.

جمهورية السودان وزارة البيئة والموارد الطبيعية والتنمية العمرانية. 2018. Online: accessed October 7, 2018

على الجرقندى النعيم. 2015. الإصلاح المؤسسى للفدرالية المالية السودانية, ورقة مقدمة فى سلسلة ورش عمل للتوافق حول الإصلاح الإقتصادى فى السودان, شركة يونيكونز للإستشارات المحدودة, الخرطوم, أبريل 2015.