In December, we were happy to release Draft Version 1 of Monitoring Rangeland Health — a simple guide to monitoring rangelands in the Horn of Africa region.
This manual has been my (Corinna’s) main project over the last few months, with Siva also contributing substantially to it. As some of you remember, we traveled around quite a bit last year doing background research for this project. All our efforts finally came together at the end of 2009, when we unveiled the "final first draft" of this manual.
In December we held several workshops and lots of meetings, both in Kenya and in Ethiopia, getting feedback on the manual. We were joined by our collaborator from the US Department of Agriculture, Jeff Herrick. Jeff has spent the last 10 years working on issues of monitoring in the western US. We tend to think that, together, we’ve written a manual that is scientifically sound, yet simple and easy to use.
Fortunately, other people seem to agree! In the workshops, we found that workshop participants were quick to pick up the simple methods for monitoring changes in land health. This group in Ethiopia actually seemed to be having fun practicing the methods!
We got so much good feedback and positive support for the project that we’re already busy working on Version 2 — which will be ready for wider distribution and — hopefully — adoption in April.
What’s actually involved in monitoring rangeland health? More about that another time!