Identification of drivers of degradation and selected restoration measures in Hítardalur valley

Final project
Year of publication:
Supervisors: Johann Thorsson , Iðunn Hauksdóttir
Hítardalur, Ha Lekhari, Lesotho, land degradation, land restoration


Land degradation in Lesotho results from poor land management practices and it undermines a finite resource on which people depend for survival. Land restoration plans often fail because of improper planning. This research is on restoration methods or approaches that can be adopted from Hítardalur valley in Iceland to Ha Lekhari, a degraded area in Lesotho. Hítardalur valley also experiences land degradation caused by overgrazing and volcanic eruptions. The study was conducted to assess the feasibility of transferring knowledge on successful approaches developed and applied in Iceland to Lesotho by identifying potential synergies and opportunities on restoring degraded lands. A field visit was done to observe how restoration staff have mapped and categorised the degradation and which restoration methods have been used. Hítardalur’s eolian sand material has been stabilized by drill seeding Festuca richardsonii with inorganic fertilizer. The study also revealed that there should be involvement of stakeholders in restoration projects, a strong plan at the start of the project, and that natural succession should be encouraged. Restoration project guidelines for Lekhari were developed, built on the study results.