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Mimi Stith, Alessandra Giannini, John del Corral, Susana Adamo, and Alex de Sherbinin

1. Introduction a. Definitions of the Sahel The Sahel is a large and multifaceted region of sub-Saharan Africa. The climate and ecology, history, and political organization of Sahelian countries are diverse and dynamic ( Raynaut et al. 1997 ). Historically, scholarly investigations of the Sahel have revolved around three subjects: the ancient kingdoms and trade routes, the legacy of colonialism and the formation of the modern nation state, and the drivers and impacts of the harsh environment

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