Exchanging the Good Range Management Practices in the SADC Region
The SADC region is grappling with the effect of climate change which has ravaged and threatened the food security of its member states. To reduce the effects of climate change, CCARDESA is conducting site and exchange visits under its GIZ funded project Herding for Health (H4H) in Hwange and South Africa with farmers from Botswana, Victoria Falls, Mozambique, South Africa, and Zambia respectively. The main purpose of the site’s visits is for farmers to learn from one another good rangeland and livestock management practices and replicate them in their diverse communities. These visits encourage farmers to aspire for greater attainments in managing their rangelands in climate-smart, biodiversity-friendly ways so that they are models in the next phase of site visits.
The Herding for Health project encourages farmers to manage their livestock to maintain healthy rangelands, thereby mitigating the effects of climate change.
The visits started on the 9th to 12th of September will culminate in a graduation ceremony for trained livestock herders (also called Ecorangers) who are capable of caring for and managing rangelands so that effects of climate change are minimised in the areas of interventions.
The site visits will also build on a case to assess the climate change risks that exist in the areas of interventions. The assessment will be drawn and ultimately lead to the development of sustainable climate-smart interventions to combat the effects of overgrazing in the H4H intervention areas.
Additionally, the exchange visits are a conducive platform where framers are encouraged to learn good practices that are worth replicating in their respective communities. These are timely interventions which should be applauded as they address the challenges that nations in the SADC region are facing.
The H4H project envisages that at the end of the H4H project, there will be a paradigm shift in the way communities manage their rangelands including having a positive outlook to a brighter and better future for their livestock because of the assurance of well-maintained grazing land and added benefits through improved risk management and value chain development.
The community leaders expressed their concern and feeling of hopelessness in the face of climate change during the start of the learning exchange. They are all from drought-stricken areas. However, they walked away, inspired and hopeful that there are ways to empower themselves and their communities to do something about the challenges they face as livestock farmers.
CCARDESA and the GIZ ACCRA Project are always happy to be associated with the great works that H4H does in several communities and appeals to communities in the SADC region to come on board and embrace the initiatives of managing rangelands which will trickle into food security as there will be ample land reserved for crops.
CCARDESA through the Adaptation to Climate Change in Rural Areas in Southern Africa (ACCRA) Programme of the German Development Cooperation (GIZ) which is funded by the Federal German Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) is supporting the Herding for Health approach which is a partnership with Conservation International and Peace Parks Foundation