Located approximately 600 km from the West African mainland, Cabo Verde is a volcanic archipelago that consists of 10 larger islands and several uninhabited islets, divided into two ensembles: the leeward islands (Sotavento) in the south and the windward islands (Barlavento) in the north, depending on whether the islands are more or less affected by the trade winds from the northeast (Eklund and Kronhamn, 2002). Before being discovered by the Portuguese in 1456, the Cabo Verde islands were uninhabited. Today, a majority of inhabitants are of mixed Portuguese and African ancestry, and Cabo Verde is known for its Creole Portuguese-African culture and morna music. The climate is tropical dry and rainfall is limited and quite erratic, with an average of less than 300 mm per year. The landscapes of this archipelago are very diverse, formed by volcanic activity 8 million to 20 million years ago. In the mid-20th century, major afforestation and soil and water conservation efforts were undertaken to restore degraded land. The land of the western mountainous islands has undergone extensive conversion that transformed the dry steppe habitat to a heavily human-influenced landscape. Dense forest now covers some of the highest elevations and the more humid windward-facing slopes, while woodlands have been established on some of the drier areas. The potential for agriculture is extremely varied, hampered by aridity, extreme topography, and unequal land ownership.