Title: Assessment of the perceptions in local communities and an analysis of the governance of rangeland management in Qacha's Nek District, Lesotho

Final project
Year of publication:
Supervisors: Bjorn H. Barkarson
local communities, governance, rangeland management, Lesotho


This study was aimed at contributing towards sustainable rangeland management in Qacha’s Nek, Lesotho, by assessing the perceptions of local communities of rangeland management and analysing the governance of rangeland resources. Questionnaires were used to collect primary data to give an idea of the perception of the local community towards rangeland management. The study focused on local perceptions of the condition of the rangeland, indicators of rangeland condition and sustainability of rangeland resource management. The governance was analysed as to how roles were defined and the responsibilities of the institutions working with local communities, the implementation and enforcement of legislation regulating use of rangeland in the district by the local authorities, and public awareness of rangeland management systems or practices by different institutions. The study assessed the dependency of the communities involved on rangeland resources. The findings showed that the main source of income for a majority of the respondents was from livestock production (wool and mohair exports, livestock sales and herding). Also common drivers of rangeland degradation are considered to be rangeland fires, overgrazing and presence of invasive species to rangelands. The study also showed that the common indicators of rangeland degradation mentioned by the respondents were the presence of rills, gullies and invasive species. The respondents acknowledged that there had been a decline in rangeland resources and the sustainability of rangelands was questioned. The respondents revealed that governance of rangeland resources has problems. There are unresolved questions of legal powers held by the authorities and this has negatively affected the quality of the governance of rangelands. There seems to be a lack of awareness of institutional roles and legislation governing rangelands. The recommendations of the study focus on participatory management, that the governance needs to be revived, that there is a need for more emphasis on awareness-raising in the communities on the importance of rangelands, and that new policy should take into consideration local perceptions and different gender preferences.

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