Actions that conserve and protect natural assets

Published: 16 July 2021
Last edited: 29 July 2021

Open-grazing and over-cutting in dryland areas reduces vegetative cover, making them prone to erosion and causing downstream flooding.


DryDev introduced FMNR as a low-cost community-led approach that build consensus on how to manage and govern open-grazing areas through local by-laws (including fines for non-compliance). FMNR uses selective pruning to assist recovering trees and stumps. In denuded areas where root stocks are not present, enrichment planting was undertaken to maximize vegetative cover in the protected areas.


Physical structures were also used, such as terraces, trenches, half-moons, check-dams and gully reclamation structures. 


Biological and physical structures in open grazing areas (now protected) led to rapid vegetative recovery, recovery of springs and the rise of groundwater. Smallholders improved their water access for household needs, for small crops and fruit trees, and for animals.


Education, training and other capacity development activities
Sustainable livelihoods
Scale of implementation
Phase of solution

Enabling factors

  • Community visioning was needed to remind the community what the landscape once looked like, and to imagine the restored state. 
  • Testing new ideas, such as FMNR, in small plots was useful to members who were unsure of the benefits. Bringing farmers to existing FMNR sites and to talk with other farmers convinced them of the benefits. Bringing government on board also assisted with uptake.
  • Water harvesting proved to assist greatly with the speed of vegetative recovery.

Lessons learned

Solutions like FMNR are low-cost, scalable and replicable with spontaneous adoption observed in neighbouring sub-watersheds.

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