Academic journal article European Journal of Sustainable Development

Factors Affecting Sustainable Rangeland Management: Experts' Attitudes towards Livelihood Cornerstones in the Bazoft Region

Academic journal article European Journal of Sustainable Development

Factors Affecting Sustainable Rangeland Management: Experts' Attitudes towards Livelihood Cornerstones in the Bazoft Region

Article excerpt

1. Introduction

Arid and semi-arid rangelands are defined as areas falling within the rainfall zones of 0-300 mm and 300-600 mm, respectively (FAO 1987). These rangelands cover at least 10 million km2 of the earth's land surface and range from desert to mountainous or highland regions. They are characterized by low and highly variable precipitation, unpredictable rainfall patterns and unsuitable conditions for cultivation. Historically, these rangelands have provided great ecosystem functions and services, supported wildlife, and have long been places for rangeland users including pastoralists and their livestock. Accordingly, rangeland users have been able to more freely use the services that these ecosystems provide and adapt to changes in ways that have improved their livelihoods (Boone et al. 2011). Further, they have traditionally coped with highly variable conditions through choosing a wide range of strategies that allow maximum flexibility and dealing with changing and uncertain conditions (Klein et al. 2011). Thus, it could be claimed that traditional systems of rangeland management and adaptive livelihood strategies supported and guaranteed inhabitants in these areas.

However, during the second half of the 20th century in many countries, new changes and challenges emerged, which, disrupted the well-adapted strategies and demised the traditional systems of rangeland management. Consequently, rangeland degradation followed by livelihoods' vulnerability of rangeland users affect sustainable rangeland management (SRM) (Bedunah and Angerer 2012; Khedri Gharibvand et al. 2015). So that rangelands which recently, directly support about 200 million pastoralists living in close association with about 960 million ruminant livestock are under serious threats and jeopardizing their services and benefits (World Bank, 2006; SCBD, 2010).

It can be deduced that rangeland users' livelihoods and SRM as a whole, are presently confronted with a number of problems and there still remain some unresolved challenges. Accordingly, achievement of SRM has become of a great interest among policy makers scholars, and rangeland users (Janssen et al. 2000; Miller 2001; Klein et al. 2011; Bedunah and Angerer 2012; Dong and Sherman 2015; Khedri Gharibvand et al. 2015). In line with this, the general goal of SRM has been recognized as "the long term productivity of rangelands while ensuring rangeland users' livelihoods in the short term" (Khedri Gharibvand et al. 2015). According to Khedri Gharibvand et al. (2015) "achieving this goal is impossible if rangelands are degraded and livelihoods are vulnerable". Eventually, these issues have increased conflicts between different rangeland stakeholders that have worsened the achievement of SRM (Bedunah and Angerer, 2012; Khedri Gharibvand et al. 2015).

In the 1970s and 1980s, the focus of development shifted to the people, stressing the importance of intangible aspects, such as education, health, and population through the development of human resources including knowledge, skills, and attitudes, still it has not been paid attention to the experts' attitudes towards SRM in an integrated and comprehensive approach (Dong and Sherman 2015; Khedri Gharibvand et al. 2015; Vallejo and Wehn 2016). Moreover, although, in the 1980s and 1990, the focus of development shifted towards the major stakeholders, government, non-governmental organizations, and private organizations, as well as their networks and external environment, however, many conflicts have still remained unresolved and have thus affected SRM (Bedunah and Angerer, 2012; Khedri Gharibvand et al. 2015; Vallejo and Wehn 2016). Although some studies have tried to address SRM concern, they have less investigated it in a way which can simultaneously include ecological, human, social, economic and physical aspects in policies, strategies and programs.

In this paper, first an effort is made to address some major policy deficiencies behind the issue of SRM. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.