Rangeland Rehabilitation & Management Programme

Project Facts

Payment Mechanisms / Support

ILRI, CGIAR, Natural Resource Ecology Laboratory, Colorado State University

SSA (Sub-Saharan Africa)
Laikipia district, Il Ngwesi group ranch

Contact persons for the lecture:

  • Jason Sircely
  • Richard Conant
  • Mohammed Said
  • Lance Robinson
  • Richard Hatfield

Case overview/description

Main Challenges
Ecosystem health, Restoring grassland, Sustainable grassland management
Starting point/ Challenges

Poor rangeland conditions plant mortality due to livestock grazing soil erosion due to bare vegetation coverage

Purpose/ Objectives addressed, Results expected
  • Reduce bare ground
  • Increase vegetative cover to reduce conflict & competition
  • Improve land productivity
Type of Case
Land development
Agroecological zone
Semi-arid (75 < x < 180 LGP)
Land area size (km2)
Number of people

Il Ngwesi group ranch: 200 km2, 550 resident Maasai families (~3000 total population)

Land ownership
Ownership comments

Group ranches in Kenya; Maasai pastoralists have long faced restrictions on movements

Livestock system
Livestock Type
Cattle, Goats, Sheep
Comment livestock systems

Laikipia District:
- Wildlife, pastoralism

Il Ngwesi group ranch:
- Pastoralism; 7,000 ha dry season reserve

Participants in the case/project

Elders & community leaders, herders & community members

Methods / Approaches applied to reach objectives
  • technical demonstrations
  • future 'visioning' (capacity building in future herding managment)
  • quantitative: standard rangeland surveys
  • qualitative: semi-structured interviews

Outcome/ Beneficiaries/ Issues

Sustainability regarding economic issues
  • management decision-making
  • Herder ‘buy-in/ownership’ enhanced implementation of planned grazing, rangeland health improvement, reduction of livestock mortality
Sustainability regarding social issues
  • Stimulated group ranch members’ interest in long-term planning
  • devolution of management decisions to ‘Village Forums’
  • Improved community engagement and herder contributions to long-term management plans, leading to greater inclusion of and ownership among herders
Sustainability regarding ecological issues
  • improved rangland quality
  • implementation of planned grazing
  • Rangeland health, especially bare ground cover and vegetative cover
Knowledge Exchange
  • Exchange of knowledge among pastoralist communities
  • Facilitates pastoralist/rancher/farmer interactions
  • Learning materials
  • Formation of pilot groups for action research
Key Conflicts / Problems

Planned grazing decisions by elders & community leaders led to conflict with herders & community members during the project operations

Lessons learnt

Technical demonstrations confirmed the ability of planned grazing to improve carbon sequestration Direct examples of how planned grazing can improve rangeland health enhanced communities’ interest in long-term planning Hierarchical, top-down, decision-making alienated herders Generating buy-in among herders enhanced the ability of planned grazing to improve rangeland health, and thereby improve livestock health and reduce livestock mortality Technical knowledge was insufficient for scalable gains in rangeland health, and therefore also carbon storage Addressing management planning processes may be the best chance at catalysing sustained, scalable land management change


- Natural Resource Management
- Pastoral Risk Managment
- Overall project managment and institutional strengthening
- technological change