Sustainable rangeland management in Sub-Saharan Africa – Guidelines to good practice

24-06-2019 –

In Sub-Saharan Africa, the popular perception of rangelands and their management is that these vast areas have major problems without solutions: the common narrative focuses on overgrazing, herds of undernourished livestock, erosion and desertification, drought, famine, and conflict.

However, evidence compiled and analysed in this book show that such a view of rangelands – as being unproductive and mismanaged systems – does not reflect reality. It needs reconsideration and revision.

The overall goal of the guidelines is to demonstrate – through a unique set of convincing case studies and their analysis as well as the development of guiding principles – the value and potential of investment in rangelands.

Rangelands take pride of place among Sub-Saharan Africa’s varied ecosystems. They make up nearly half (48 percent) of the land, or up to 62 percent if woodlands are included, and provide a rich range of resources, including soils, water, vegetation and genetic diversity. These landscapes also have a critical role to play in achieving multiple development gains, including food and nutrition security, water, rural jobs, livelihoods and growth in rapidly transforming economies; climate change adaptation and mitigation efforts; as well as peace, security, stability and natural resource-related conflict prevention.


Author: Willem Van Cotthem

Honorary Professor of Botany, University of Ghent (Belgium). Scientific Consultant for Desertification and Sustainable Development.