The Degradation Debate: Is Clarification Possible?

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"The range monitoring programme established by the Range Ecology Unit of the Ministry of Agriculture in Botswana (described in Hendzel 1981), has been heavily criticised on a number of points, and the data collected in the southern part of the country are considered to be especially unreliable. I do not want to imply that this data, going back over 20 years, is of no interest (in fact I am doing a similar analysis for sites in the north eastern part of Botswana), but I do think that one has to be much more careful in what one thinks the data can prove, and that the uncertainties and unreliability of the sampling procedures and statistical analysis should be fully described. Furthermore, considering the high spatial variability of rainfall in Botswana, it would be of interest to know how far the sampling points were from the rainfall station in Gaborone. To make correlations between rainfall and other factors, such as grazing and relative cover of grasses, it is important to have access to local rainfall figures."



grazing, conservation, livestock, rangelands