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Rangelands of ethiopia.docx

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range land in ethiopia

range land in ethiopia

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  • 1. THE RANGELANDS OF ETHIOPIA An Overview
  • 2. INTRODUCTION • Rangelands, defined as uncultivated land that provide the necessities of life for grazing and browsing animals, make up about 50 to 70% of the world’s landmass of which over 50% are arid and semi-arid (Holechek et al., 2005). • In Africa, rangelands are the major sources of feed for ruminants and constitute about 65% of the total land area (Friedelet al., 2000) which supports 59% of all ruminant livestock in Africa. • In Ethiopia, rangelands support about 9.8 million people (Taffese and Kassayie, 2004, PADS, 2004).
  • 3. LOCATION OF THE ETHIOPIAN RANGELANDS • In Ethiopia, the rangelands are located around the periphery of the country and most of these areas are found below 1,500 m.a.s.l.
  • 4. Area Coverage of The Ethiopian Rangelands Region Somali Region Borana + Other Oromia Afar SNNPR BSG DD Gambella Area in Km2 301,484 (World Bank 2001) 95,000 (Coppock 1994) + 57070 = 150070 97970 (CSA) 30307 (PADS) 8410 1200 17300
  • 5. Rangeland physical characteristic • Physical characteristics mainly include soil, climate and topography. Physical characteristics determine the type of vegetation and its productivity in any rangeland area and the type of vegetation and the terrain govern the type of livestock and wildlife it will support (Holechek et al. 2001).
  • 6. Rangeland physical characteristic • The rangelands are on warmest parts of the country, with annual mean temperatures ranging from 20 to 25°C. • The hottest areas are found in the most arid uni-modal rainfall system in Afar where the precipitation ranges between 200 and 600 mm. • The bimodal system occurs in the Ogaden, Borena and SNNP, where the annual rainfall ranges between 250 and 750 mm (PADS, 2004; Kidane, 2006). • Temperature is increasing and Rainfall becoming more erratic without clear pattern
  • 7. Soil in the rangelands • No clear documentation on the soils that exist in the rangeland areas of Ethiopia. In general they are shallow and stony, not well developed. • Borana area dominated by sandy-loam and black clay soils ; Afar volcanic soil, Somali Sandy porous soil • Soil erosion, gully formations and land degradation have become a serious problem in all rangeland areas of Ethiopia
  • 8. Vegetation resources • The natural vegetation of the rangeland areas varies from dry woodland and grassland savannas to desert plant communities (Kidane, 2006). • Rangelands of Ethiopia are home to considerable amounts of endemic plant species
  • 9. Vegetation resources • 70% of the Afar rangeland is comprised of bare land, 24.5% constitutes grasslands, shrub-land, bush-land and riverine woodland with the rest being water bodies • Somali region vegetation is browse rich, thick thorny bush good for goats and camel; pockets of grazing for cattle and sheep • More than 1.5m ha of the Afar rangeland is encroached by prosopis, and it is expanding at a rate of 50,000 ha per year • SRS is also threatened by expansion of prosopis in some zones
  • 10. Vegetation resources • The Borana plateau was dominated by savannah type of vegetation containing a mixture of perennial herbaceous and woody plants (Desta and Coppock, 2004). Good for grazers. • Bush encroachment and other invasive species have become and a serious problem and degraded quality of the vegetation; disappearance of preferred plant species
  • 11. Livestock Resources in pastoral areas Species Oromia Somali Afar SNNPR Cattle 4.6m 1.4m 2.3m 0.64m Sheep 0.82m 1.7m 2.5m 0.48m Goats 1.8m 2.1m 4.3m 0.88m Camel 0.77m 0.86m 0.85m 3.6 TLU 3.1 TLU Holding/ 6 TLU hhd Of the national herd rangelands support 40% of the cattle, 25% of the sheep, 75% of the goats, and 100% of camel. Herd size suffers from frequent drought induced crashes; the low TLU/hhd signifies status of poverty
  • 12. Wildlife Resources • Out of the 24 endemic bird species in the country, 19 species are found in the rangelands. • All national parks are situated in the rangelands with the exception of Bale and Simen mountains. • Rangelands are home for large herds of wildlife such as buffaloes, lions, etc. (EARO, 2000; Beruk, 2003; Alemayehu, 2003). • Habitat competition and poaching have resulted in massive destruction of wildlife habitat and reduction in numbers.
  • 13. Land ownership, traditional rangeland management, and Institutions • Rangelands in Ethiopia are managed as common property and are usually controlled by customary institutions. Traditional leaders apply rules and traditional social control mechanisms to regulate and coordinate access in the utilization of the natural resources (Desta et al 2002, 2004, Coppock et al 2012, Simonsen and Mitiku, 1998).
  • 14. Land ownership, traditional rangeland management, and Institutions • Borana – Grazing resource in Borana, pastures and water, are largely owned by the community and administered by a council of elders and clan representatives. – However, currently the traditional management systems in administrating the rangeland resource has been weakened; private and semi private enclosures expanding, uncontrolled crop cultivation increasing (Napier and Desta 2012)
  • 15. Land ownership, traditional rangeland management, and Institutions • Land in SRS, traditionally belongs to clan or sub-clan. Each clan or sub-clan has its traditional boundary and individuals did not own land. (Hogg, 1992; Tilahunet al., 1996). The pastoralists had a well-established grazing and water use regulations. • Recently private enclosures are expanding which have reduced area of land available for communal grazing (Napier and Desta 2012)
  • 16. Land ownership, traditional rangeland management, and Institutions • Afar – Range use in Afar Region reflects high mobility patterns where herd oscillates between dry and wet season pastures. Dry season grazing sites are close to permanent water points, while wet season sites are far away from them. – This system has been disturbed long time ago with the establishment of irrigated farms
  • 17. Land ownership, traditional rangeland management, and Institutions • The clan leaders were responsible to match the livestock population with that of the rangeland carrying capacity. The clan leaders were also responsible to protect the browsing species. No one was allowed to cut live trees. • Currently such traditional rangeland management institutions have lost their authority. No one is now responsible for the protection of tree species; any one can cut trees at any time and place.
  • 18. Key points to take note of • Negative trends in the Ethiopian Rangelands – Soil erosion and gully formations and land degradation – Encroachment of bushes and other invasive plants have degraded productivity of the rangeland – Shrinkage of the grazing land that supports livestock – Frequency and severity drought is increasing which is a manifestation of a changing climate – Population pressure due to low emigration – Weakening of authority of the CI and traditional/indigenous NRM systems • Positive aspect – – – – Resilient system that continued to support millions of people It makes tremendous contribution to the national economy Potential for carbon sink Conservation of biodiversity The big question what next to maximize the positive aspect and deal with the negative trend in the face of a changing climate
  • 19. THANK YOU

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