Rethinking rangeland ecology
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CTA. 1992. Rethinking rangeland ecology . Spore 42. CTA, Wageningen, The Netherlands.
Permanent link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10568/45869
During the 1980s the traditional rangeland sector suffered, perhaps more than any other, from what has frequently been described as the lost decade in terms of African rural development. Ranching schemes, enclosures, boreholes, mobile veterinary...
During the 1980s the traditional rangeland sector suffered, perhaps more than any other, from what has frequently been described as the lost decade in terms of African rural development. Ranching schemes, enclosures, boreholes, mobile veterinary clinics and other interventions created by government agencies and funded by a spectrum of donors have met with only limited success. During the same period the conceptual base and techniques of range management have been subjected to considerable rethinking. What were once anomalous field studies and academic papers are being linked and woven into what amounts to an alternative theory of how savanna rangeland functions, and what the management implications are. A series of meetings, case studies and publications grouped within an overall project, begun in 1990 by the Commonwealth Secretariat, has encouraged debate and moved the thinking in this field. The project has brought together technical experience from the Pastoral Development Network of the Overseas Development Institute (ODI), and the Drylands Programme of the International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED). The project began modestly in November 1990 with a scientific meeting held at Woburn, UK. In January 1992 the project moved to Africa with a workshop entitled 'New directions in African range management policy', which was held at Matopos, Zimbabwe. This meeting was given additional importance by the southern African drought which has since caused such havoc in the region. A workshop report, accompanied by three well-researched Case Studies from Botswana and Zimbabwe, has now been published. These earlier activities have provided the basis for a further initiative which will address the social and economic dimensions of any attempt to reform African range management. This will contribute a socio-economic counterpoint to the highly influential 1990 Woburn technical meeting. Brian Kerr Commonwealth Secretariat Marlborough House Pall Mall London SW1Y 5HX UK