A participatory sustainable rangeland management toolkit with a holistic and multidisciplinary approach

Mounir Louhaichi
Publicado: 01 Febrero 2023
Última edición: 01 Febrero 2023
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Sustainable Rangeland Management (SRM) toolkit is tested in North Africa and West Asia (NAWA region), with a specific focus on Tunisia, Jordan and Uzbekistan, and offers a package of holistic and multi-disciplinary tools for addressing the root cause of rangeland degradation. The toolkit will help communities, policy and development actors use key sustainable rangeland management practices at local scale or in context-specific environments expecting to ensure that ecosystem services are used sustainably and reach a level of land degradation neutrality, increase livestock feed (forage) production, enhance ecosystem services.


Asia Central y del Norte
Oeste de Asia, Medio Oriente
Sur de Asia
África Oriente y África del Sur
África del Norte
Scale of implementation
Desierto caliente
Desierto costero
Desierto frío
Ecosistemas de pastizales
Ecosistemas del desierto
Pastizales templados, sabana, matorral
Actores locales
Adaptación al cambio climático
Ciencia y investigación
Conocimientos tradicionales
Especies exóticas invasoras
Especies y la extinción
Fragmentación del hábitat y degradación
Gestión de fuego
Gestión de tierras
Gestión y planificación de áreas protegidas y conservadas
Gobernanza de las áreas protegidas y conservadas
Manejo de cuencas
Medios de vida sostenibles
Mitigación del cambio climático
Ordenamiento territorial terrestre
Reducción de desastres
Seguridad alimentaria
Standards/ certification
Lluvia errática
Calor extremo
Incremento de temperatura
Degradación de tierras y bosques
Cambio estacional
Pérdida de ecosistemas
Especies invasoras
Falta de conciencia del público y de los responsables de la toma de decisiones
Falta de capacidad técnica
Deficiente vigilancia y aplicación de la ley
Deficiente gobernanza y participación
Sustainable development goals
ODS 2 - Hambre cero
ODS 15 - Vida de ecosistemas terrestres
ODS 17 - Alianzas para lograr los objetivos
Business engagement approach
Compromiso directo con asociaciones
Indirecto a través del gobierno


Tunisia | Jordan, Uzbekistan


Globally, the land and ecosystem restoration agenda has been dominated by forestry and agroforestry approaches, neglecting other land and site-specific approaches. In rangelands, overgrazing, intensive agriculture and urban land expansion are leading to land degradation and the expansion of desertification. These challenges are being worsened by climate change and population growth. Development partners have made efforts towards the restoration of rangelands, but their approaches have not been holistic. Complicating factors are added to the agenda including recurrent droughts, inefficient policies, weak institutional arrangements, unclear land tenure regimes and the loss of indigenous land use knowledge. Approaches towards rangeland rehabilitation often fail to consider local adoption and sustainability. However, the International Center for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas and partners have been pursuing opportunities for restorative rangeland management. 


Land users and policy makers are the main beneficiaries of this solution.

¿ Cómo interactúan los building blocks en la solución?

The SRM practices developed under the toolkit have the potential to be implemented across several agro ecosystems. For instance, the Jordan Badia is characterized with shallow crusted soil surface, low and erratic rainfall which make it prone to erosion, practices are then selected to address these constraints and alleviate trend of rangeland degradation. Thus, it is important to associate indigenous local knowledge with science-based technologies using a bottom-up participatory approaches to achieve a desired goal. Thus, it is essential to associate the tools it includes to a particular ecosystem including participation from stakeholders and a social process to accompany the technical process. The potential for replication is high as it combines different methods that fit for different scenarios, combing social and biophysical processes.


  • Positive feedback: In Tunisia, the office of livestock and pasture has recognized the positive impact of grazing management, producing livestock feed during favourable year when previously unavailable.
  • High impact expectations: it has potential to impact over 1 Mha in Tunisia alone and impact better management and restoration of rangelands in dry areas
  • High adoption: the toolkit has high expectations of adoption thanks to the inclusion of indigenous knowledge, and the flexibility to adjust grazing strategies based on climatic conditions, coupled with technologies such as ICT. In 2021, its further adoption started thanks to flexible contractual procedures between administration and farmer.
  • Participatory: participatory approaches with focus on pastoralists customary governance institutions
  • Multidisciplinary: covers a wide range of topics including addressing physical, ecological, social, and institutional dimensions
  • Climate resilient results: increased resilience of the pastoral system to climate change 
  • Improved management: better management and restoration of rangelands in dry areas using nature-based solutions that harnesses biodiversity and ecosystem services to reduce vulnerability to climate change.
  • Holistic approach: the toolkit provides tools to address the root causes in a complex system by understanding the interlinkages within the chosen land, environment, and ecosystem.


“Sustainable Rangeland Management toolkit lays out a holistic and multidisciplinary approach for addressing the biophysical and socioeconomic trade-offs existing between different land uses.” Mr. Mohamed NASRI, ex-Director General of the Office of Livestock and Pastures in Tunisia.


This quote captures the essence of the SRM toolkit precisely, while also implying the shortcomings of earlier restoration effors. This is for example, the lack of involving partners, not combining indigenous knowledge together with scientific findings, and not considering different bio-physical (e.g., topology) and social-economic contexts (e.g., culture or regulation). For these reasons partnerships with both local and international, scientific and executive, social sciences and natural sciences, was at the core of the process. This participatory process led to a flexible, holistic and multi-disciplinary approach for revitalizing marginalized rangelands and ensuring their sustainability. Its potential is huge, only in Tunisia the potential is 2 million hectares! The potential is also to move beyond livestock related policies, extending towards technology and investment priorities for programs, development agencies, and decision-makers.


Working together with so many diverse partners and stakeholders has surely generated insights for managing rangelands resulting in a very positive story. Therefore, such a participatory process will be improved and expanded to reach even more marginal rangelands and to support the dependent livelihoods.

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