Linking degradation assessment to sustainable land management: a decision support system for Kalahari pastoralists

M. Reed, A. J. Dougill

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Citations (Scopus)


This paper describes a manual-style Decision Support System that integrates land degradation indicators with adaptive management options and is designed for land managers to easily collect data and monitor progress towards environmental sustainability goals. A number of similar tools have been developed for ranchers in southern Africa, but there has been little help for land managers under common property regimes. Manuals were therefore primarily designed for use by communal pastoralists in three study areas in the Kalahari, Botswana. Separate manuals were developed for each study area in response to the differences in indicators and management options deemed relevant for each by local communities. The design of the DSS has been optimised using an "innovation-decision" approach combined with local and external expert review to enhance the likelihood of widespread uptake and application by land managers. Manuals are designed for regular use by pastoralists to identify detrimental environmental change early, and guide sustainable management responses. The recommended assessment procedure is flexible, and designed to make recording and interpretation of results simple for users. Full copies of each manual (in English) are provided (electronic version only).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)149-155
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Arid Environments
Issue number1
Early online date21 Jul 2009
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2010


  • innovations
  • land degradation
  • manual
  • monitoring
  • participation
  • rangeland
  • indicators
  • risk


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