Green walls and green dams are increasingly being considered as part of many national and international desertification initiatives. This paper studies the spatiotemporal evolution of the green dam in the Moudjbara region (Djelfa Province, Algeria), from 1972 to 2019, by using Landsat imagery, Land Change Modeler, and OpenLand package. The future evolution of pine plantations, for the year 2029, was also forecasted, based on an anthropogenic scenario (i.e., anthropogenic pressure is the main driver of the green dam destruction). Our findings revealed that the green dam project was successful for a few years, but, after that, pine plantations deteriorated significantly, due to forest harvesting, livestock overgrazing, and the proliferation of the pine caterpillar processionary, which destroyed most of the reforestation. Land change modeler predicted a huge degradation of pine plantations for the year 2029, and if the deforestation continues at the same rate, the green dam in the Moudjbara region will disappear during the next few decades. Being aware of this threat, the Algerian authorities are now planning to reforest more than 1.2 million ha under the latest rural renewal policy, by introducing new principles related to sustainable development, fighting desertification, and climate change adaptation. We strongly recommend moving away from the singular tree planting focus, to diversifying desertification control methods.
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