The Northern Rangelands Trust: Rangelands Video

From The Northern Rangelands Trust YouTube page: "In Northern Kenya, the vast majority of people earn a living through livestock, and have done so for centuries. But this is a harsh world, frequently beset by unpredictable weather and drought. Furthermore, the rapidly increasing population has led to greater pressure on natural resources, and overgrazing has rendered many rangelands unfit for both livestock and wildlife.

In 2008, members of West Gate Conservancy and several NRT staff went on a study tour to Zimbabwe, where they witnessed the benefits of "holistic land management". Traditionally, pastoralist communities let the cattle browse over vast areas, a practice which often leads to overgrazing. In Zimbabwe, holistic land management involves "bunching". Large numbers of cattle being are bunched together in one place, before being moved on, leaving time for the grasslands in each area to recover. 

After the study tour, West Gate Conservancy initiated its own holistic rangeland management programme. Besides encouraging pastoralists to bunch their cattle, the Conservancy began to eradicate an invasive shrub, the false umbrella tree (Acacia reficiens), and reseed degraded areas. As a result, the rangelands have improved, cattle are healthier and wild herbivores such as oryx and Grevy's zebra are beginning to return. Other conservancies are now adopting similar practices. By 2014, approximately 300,000 hectares of land in NRT conservancies were benefiting from planned grazing management.

Tom Lalampaa, NRT chief programmes officer, was brought up in West Gate. When he was a child the elders used to regulate the way in which the rangelands were grazed to minimise damage and reduce conflict between pastoralists. Then, over the years, the cattle population rapidly rose and the grasslands began to suffer. Now, thanks to holistic grazing management, they are recovering." (Published on Apr 13, 2015)