In 1990, the Commonwealth Secretariat convened a technical meeting to explore the biological dimensions of African range management. The 25 scientists who attended the meeting examined a variety of new approaches to the study of African savanna ecology. It was clear that the participants agreed on many fundamental issues, and that the consensus endorsed a thorough-going review of mainstream range management practice. The collected papers from this technical meeting will be published in 1992. In the interim, the results of the technical meeting have been summarized by the convenors in an overview essay (Behnke and Scoones 1991).
This overview essay provided the background document for a second workshop on rangeland policy also held under the auspices of the Commonwealth Secretariat at Matopos, Zimbabwe, in January, 1992. This workshop was organized around commissioned case studies (on Botswana, Zimbabwe, Kenya and Nigeria) prepared by scientists from each of these Commonwealth countries. In contrast to the earlier technical meeting, the Matopos workshop concentrated on the legal, social and institutional aspects of communal rangeland management, and was aimed primarily at field personnel, administrators, and policy makers in national ministries or departments active in range management in African Commonwealth countries.