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Demonstration Project on Community-Based Rangeland Management in Botswana

Background and purpose

Land degradation due to human activity is a critical transboundary concern in the Orange-Senqu Basin. In Botswana, a significant challenge facing environmental protection and conservation of natural resources, particularly wildlife resources, is increasing pressure from other forms of land use. Traditional livestock rearing on marginal grasslands in the drier parts of the Basin requires large expanses of land. Whereas this is the main form of land use for many people, it also poses a significant challenge especially to wildlife conservation in the area. Degradation of vegetation cover leading to remobilisation of sand dunes is another major concern.

Remedying unsustainable management practices is a crucial step in improving conditions. This demo projects on community-based rangeland management aim to empower local communities to address landscape degradation by implementing locally designed measures. The demo projects build on indigenous knowledge and understanding of the challenges of rangeland degradation, the importance of rangelands in traditional culture and the awareness that these conditions exist, while also expanding alternate economic opportunities for the communities involved.

The project was started at the request of the Government of Botswana and works with the communities of two villages, Khawa and Zutshwa, in the southern Kalahari. It addresses rangeland management and the underlying causes of the problem through a number of activities and initiatives:

  • community-based monitoring of range condition
  • rotational grazing
  • rainwater capture
  • kitchen garden development
  • sand dune stabilisation
  • human–wildlife conflict mediation.

Funding Organizations:

Global Environment Facility through United Nations Development Programme


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