Rangeland management in the Lesotho Highlands

Rangeland management in the Lesotho Highlands
Lesotho Highlands Development Authority (LHDA)
Lesotho

Katse and Mohale Dams were constructed in the Lesotho Highlands as part of the Lesotho Highlands Water Project (LHWP), and are managed by the Lesotho Highlands Development Authority (LHDA). Both of these dam catchment areas have become increasingly populated and past monitoring efforts suggest that a large proportion of the catchment’s wetlands have become degraded, largely as a result of grazing activities.  The degradation of the catchment and wetland systems not only undermine the livelihoods of those directly dependent upon them but pose a threat to the water delivery and conservation mandates of the LHDA. The LHDA thus commissioned the “Development of the LHWP Wetlands Conservation Strategy and Monitoring Plan”. The overall aims of the study are to extend the number of wetlands assessed in the catchment areas, and to develop a wetland conservation strategy.  he study included the development of a strategy to address the threat posed by grazing to wetlands, on the basis of a review of existing information and consultation with stakeholders in the catchment area.  The study also included a component analysing different incentives for improved land management within the catchment and tested the likely success of such measures through stakeholder engagements