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Demonstration Project on Community-Based Rangeland Management in Lesotho

Background and purpose

Land degradation due to human activity is a critical trans-boundary concern in the Orange-Senqu River Basin, and particularly so in the catchment of the Senqu in Lesotho, which contributes nearly half of the Basin’s surface runoff. Grazing on marginal grasslands, especially on steep slopes in Lesotho’s mountainous highlands causes irreversible degradation of the vegetation and large-scale erosion. Remedying unsustainable management practices is a crucial step in improving conditions.

The Demonstration Project on community based rangeland management shall empower local communities to address landscape degradation resulting from overstocking and overgrazing by implementing locally designed measures. The Demonstration Project will rely on indigenous knowledge and understanding of the challenges of rangeland degradation, the importance of rangelands in traditional culture, and the awareness of degraded conditions, while also expanding alternate economic opportunities for communities. The wealth of experience gained from past rangeland initiatives and projects shall be duly recognised and built upon.

This project is being carried out in a number of locations near Mount Moorosi in Quthing District and is well-supported by local communities. It is expected to result in protection of rangelands from overgrazing that will lead to improved animal health and local livelihoods. This is being achieved by activities in two main areas:

  • Rehabilitation of rangelands by up-rooting invasive shrubs, harvesting grass seed and re-seeding the land, and construction of silt traps and stone lines on degraded slopes
  • Generating alternative income sources by introducing ‘keyhole’ kitchen gardening, poultry raising, and improved breeding stock for Merino sheep and Angora goats.

Funding Organizations:

Global Environment Facility through United Nations Development Programme

Reports:

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