The Contribution of Grazing Enclosures for Sustainable Management and Enhancing Restoration of Degraded Range Lands in Ethiopia: Lessons and Forward

Tesfay Atsbha Hailu


From the reviewing of several papers Enclosures showed higher soil organic matter, total soil nitrogen, available phosphorus and cation exchange capacity than the open grazing lands. The higher values of soil properties and nutrient content in enclosures indicate that enclosures are one of the viable options to restore degraded soils. Soil properties in enclosures and open grazing lands showed significant correlations with biomass and vegetation cover indicating that vegetation restoration is a key to restore degraded soils through enclosure establishment. The sizeable differences in soil properties between the enclosures and adjacent grazing lands could be a logical consequence of aboveground biomass and vegetation cover improvements resulting from enclosure land management. In addition, the results demonstrated the positive influence of enclosure age on the restoration of the soils of degraded communal grazing lands. The establishment of enclosures assists to improve the overall ecological conditions of degraded areas so that they can provide better products and services for the people. The vegetation in the enclosure has a significantly higher woody vegetation density than the corresponding open area. The ground cover is much better in the enclosure than in the open area, thus supporting further regeneration because of better soil conditions and micro-climate. The significant increase of absolute stocks of carbon, nitrogen and microbial biomass compared to the degraded open rangeland indicates the potential for the restoration of soil quality through range rehabilitation. The increase in the number and biomass of perennial and annual grass species was significant at enclosure and open area, and the local communities benefit from using these species, through the ‘‘cut-and-carry’’ enclosure management system, for feeding their animals, constructing their grass-thatched huts or both. Establishing enclosures on communal grazing lands can be effective in restoring the degraded soils in the semi-arid lowlands and highlands of Ethiopia. We suggest that enclosures are potential options for future Sustainable Management and Enhancing Restoration of Degraded Range.

Keywords: Area enclosures, Area enclosures, Communal grazing land, Rangeland degradation rehabilitation

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ISSN (Paper)2224-3216 ISSN (Online)2225-0948

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