Community Actions for Sustainable Land ManagementSep 18, 2017
September 8, Ordos, Inner Mongolia – During a side event at the recent thirteenth session of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD), the Global Environment Facility (GEF) Small Grant Programme (SGP) organized a ‘community actions for land degradation neutrality (LDN)’ discussion to explore the impact of land degradation on local communities.
With the expanding of land degradation, many communities are experiencing a lack of stable food, water resources and sustainable incomes. Land degradation negatively impacts climate change mitigation and in order to maintain and improve the healthiness and productivity of land resources, environmental protectors have been working on promoting sustainable land management (SLM) practices, with the goal to enhance the resilience of land to avoid further land degradation and ensure the communities’ livelihoods that depends on the land.
“Local communities are the direct land users, their practices have big impact on sustainable land management,” said Liu Yi, national coordinator of SGP China in her presentation. “Community plays a critical role in supporting the government to implement UNCCD on the ground.”
During the side event, a publication Community Approaches to Sustainable Land Management and Agroecology Practices was launched. The report shares the best practices of communities on sustainable land management from 11 developing countries such as Gambia, Cuba and Nigeria. A case from China, Rotational Grazing to Improve Degraded Farmland at Shiqu County in Sichuan province is also presented.
Adopting the modern grassland management policy, each family in Shiqu County had a share of the community grassland and had to confine their livestock within the rangeland throughout the whole year, resulting the problem of overgrazing. In addition, problems like unregulated exploitation of wild medicinal plants are prominent in here. The small grant program project has been working with the community to tear down the family rangeland fences and put all the grassland together for rotational grazing system, restoring the land with the community’s traditional knowledge. In addition, the project also helped the community adopting alternative livelihood practices by providing technical and financial supports.
Through the project, over 10,000 hectares of grassland have been brought under a sustainable land management system and with 2193 indigenous Tibetan people benefited from the increased capacity in nature resource management, including 646 women.