Land & Water

LAND DEGRADATION NEUTRALITY: A rationale for using participatory approaches to monitor and assess rangeland health

The publication begins by making a case for the importance of rangelands from the social, economic and environmental perspectives. This is important as rangelands have not always received due attention in comparison with other biomes, in spite of the significant contributions they make to livelihoods and ecosystem services. It then examines in detail land degradation in rangelands, considering that degradation and what constitutes degradation mean different things to different people. The publication attempts to piece together the major lessons learned from previous tools and approaches. These lessons set the scene for how improvements can be achieved going forward, including recent experience piloting the PRAGA methodology. PRAGA builds upon FAO’s Land Degradation Assessment in Drylands (LADA) and IUCN’s participatory assessment methodologies and is designed to assess rangeland health according to the management objectives of local land users, based on a combination of scientific and local knowledge (FAO and IUCN, forthcoming). The aim is to support improved targeting of policies and investment. The core guiding principles of PRAGA include participation by local communities, cost-effectiveness in data collection and analysis, use of indicators that are locally relevant and cognisance of the multifunctional nature of rangelands. Evidence-based and informed decision-making resulting from such activities are vital for the planning of rangeland management and restoration initiatives. PRAGA is an effective tool to support this evidence-based decision-making.  

Source (link)
Socio-economic/negotiated approaches/tools
User Category
Technical specialist, Scientific advisor, Policy maker