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Redesigning for risk: tracking and buffering environmental variability in Africa's rangelands

Briefing/policy papers

"Arid and semi-arid lands cover about one-third of the earth's land surface, but nearly two-thirds of the African continent. The majority of African livestock and possibly 30 million livestock-dependent people reside in these dry zones along with the greatest and most diverse concentrations of large wild mammals in existence" (Ellis, 1994). Of the world's 20 poorest countries, many are situated here. Considerations of economic importance, environmental interest, geographical extent and human welfare suggest that African rangelands should be high on the development agenda. They are not. This paper discusses some of the reasons for neglect, and proposes some remedies.

Roy Behnke and Carol Kerven