Communal grazing and range management: The case of grazing associations in Lesotho
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In recent years governments and donor agencies have devoted considerable resources to efforts to improve the management of communal grazing lands. Range and livestock projects have been designed to address such familiar pastoral problems as endemic overgrazing of rangelands, often leading to permanent degradation of vegetation, soils, and water resources, and reduced livestock productivity, adversely affecting the welfare of rural people. Whatever the complex of factors which have led to range degradation in Africa, policy-makers and project designers very often see at least part of the solution in land tenure reform. Recent range policy in Lesotho has emphasized a dual strategy. On the one hand, the strategy is to invest greater control over local management decisions in grazing associations, and on the other, to develop the institutional capacity for better adminstrative regulation of grazing, principally by reinforcing the role of the chieftainship in range management matters. This paper gives emphasis to the grazing association approach.