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Cattle ranching and deforestation







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    Project
    Support to Sierra Leone for Review of Cattle Settlement Policy, Protection of Livelihood Assets through Livestock Vaccination and Improving Food Security During Covid-19 Pandemic - TCP/SIL/3806 2023
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    Conflicts between farmers and herders are a cause for concern and a security threat in Sierra Leone. The driving force behind these clashes, which often result in destruction of property and loss of life, is competition for available resources, particularly grazing and arable land. In an effort to address these widespread conflicts, the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security (MAFS) developed and adopted a Cattle Settlement Policy (CSP) in 2013. The CSP was intended to provide the necessary guidance to tackle issues related to conflicts between crop farmers and pastoralists. However, during the implementation process, it became clear that gaps in the policy hindered its effective enforcement. Assistance was therefore needed to review the CSP and adequately address these loopholes in order to gain broad support from all stakeholders. In addition to cattle, small ruminants are an alternative source of income for livestock owners. They require less pasture, reproduce faster and act as a safety net for livestock owners. Small ruminants in Sierra Leone are typical West African dwarf breeds, well adapted to their environment, but not economically profitable compared to breeds in other countries. To improve livestock production and productivity, the project proposed the introduction of improved small ruminant breeds in two pilot districts (Kambia and Koinadugu).
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    Book (stand-alone)
    Understanding the impact of planted forest on smallholder livestock farmers and their livelihoods in the Greater Mekong Subregion 2021
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    Significant forest change in the Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS) has resulted in deforestation of primary forests and expansion of plantation forests. Although plantation forest development benefits rural communities through income generation and employment opportunities, there have been negative impacts, including reductions in livestock grazing land and collection of non-timber forest products. This study analysed the association between primary forests, plantation forests, grazing areas and large ruminant populations in Cambodia, Lao PDR and Viet Nam. The report showed that livestock populations in the GMS are dynamic and have been under pressure due to enhanced trade and demand in red meat in China and Viet Nam, with a generally positive association between planted forest areas and populations of cattle and buffalo in Lao PDR and Viet Nam indicated. Tree plantations were an important source of income and generally perceived as having a positive impact on rural livelihoods, despite negatively impacts in grazing land availability. It is recommended that integrative approaches that include the collection of household level data to assess the impact on smallholder livelihoods and the collection of regional level data to capture forest changes in future forest assessments, enabling a more comprehensive understanding of the association between primary forests and planted forest on smallholder livestock production. Silvopastoral models have the potential to provide more viable and sustainable alternatives to the current forestry and livestock production models, supporting the transformation to more sustainable agriculture for better production, better environment, and sustainable development goals in GMS countries and beyond.
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    Book (series)
    Grazing with trees
    A silvopastoral approach to managing and restoring drylands
    2022
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    Trees in dryland forests and wooded areas provide key ecosystem services such as animal feed, timber, fruits and, regulation of soil and water cycles. Equally, the presence of livestock in dryland woody areas can also play an important role in the local ecosystem; not only are they a source of income for local communities, but they also help vegetation and mobilise stored biomass. When both of these ecosystem elements are wisely combined – livestock and trees – it creates an integrated agricultural system that can boost the local ecosystem, representing a welcome agro-ecological transition in livestock farming. The ‘Grazing with Trees’ report gives a thorough assessment of the positive role that optimized extensive grazing livestock farming can play in the management and restoration of drylands’ forests and lands with trees. It assesses and provides sound evidence on the benefits of applying an integrated landscape approach and utilizing farmers and pastoralists’ knowledge to halt desertification, increase resilience, and enhance food security under the actual changing scenario. The report confirms the importance of agroforestry as a primary pathway for forest restoration in dryland areas as recommended by FAO’s State of Forests 2022, and its recommendations encourage landscape planners and decision makers to consider livestock as allies, carefully restore tree cover and accelerate action to promote healthy ecosystems.

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