Can livestock fix man-made deserts?

by Daphna Whitmore

Can climate change be curbed with herds of livestock?  Allan Savory, a  Zimbabwean ecologist-biologist, makes a compelling argument for using big numbers of herds. Kim Hill interviewed him on 1 June and asked him about his work reversing desertification.

Areas of the world facing desertification

Two-thirds of the world’s land is turning to desert Savory says. He claims climate change can be reversed by  greatly increasing the number of grazing animals in order to reduce desertification.

The greatest single cause cause of desertification, he says, is over-resting the land.  Too few animals on the land,  too long on the land and over-grazing plants plus burning grasslands – as farmers have done for centuries – compounds the problem.

What do the animals eat on the bare ground when he puts animals on the desert land? The answer is fascinating.

He claims (and shows with examples) that desertification can be reversed, re-greened by putting big numbers of livestock on the land and moving them around in a way that imitates nature. He calls it holistic planned grazing. He gives a rather compelling and clear talk (not too long either) here:

Desert land transformed by grazing
Desert land transformed by grazing