Participatory Land Degradation Assessment

Mark Reed, Andrew J. Dougill

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingPublished conference contribution


Land degradation is one of the most pressing environmental issues facing the world's drylands. However, current assessments of its global extent and severity are methodologically flawed and do little to promote sustainable land management. Comparisons between UNEP's (1997) assessment and live alternative methods in Botswana demonstrate that degradation extent and severity are highly dependent on the methods and context of the assessment. A combination of methods, including public participation, are necessary for future global assessments to begin capturing this complexity. We show how the integration of local and scientific knowledge about degradation indicators and remediation options may empower land users, researchers and policy-makers to work hand in hand to assess and respond appropriately to land degradation.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Future of Drylands
Place of PublicationDordrecht
Number of pages11
ISBN (Print)978-1-4020-6969-7, 1402069693
Publication statusPublished - 29 Oct 2008


  • Land degradation
  • Botswana
  • indicators
  • encroachment
  • sustainability goals
  • participation
  • environmental-change
  • management
  • Kalahari


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