We were blaming too many animals for causing desertification, when it was really too few.
Yep, and that is exactly why conventional principles of range management (as taught for decades in university systems all over the world) have done more than any other thing to destroy the earth’s grazing lands. — jtl
by: Sarah Elks From: The Australian
ALLAN Savory reckons he discovered the secret to successful cattle farming – and to potentially reversing climate change – while tracking lions through lush African grasslands more than four decades ago.
Constantly forced to move by their predators, great herds of elephants and buffalo would trample, defecate and die on the ground, keeping the soil healthy and the natural pasture thriving.The same principles – keeping beasts in herds to prevent overgrazing and drying of the soil - could apply to livestock, figured the Zimbabwe-born biologist.
Mr Savory realised that using livestock to restore vegetation to arid land - or “greening” the desert - could enhance natural carbon and water capture by the soil, mitigating climate change.
“We were blaming too many animals for causing desertification, when it was really too few,” the 78-year-old said.
Mr Savory, who will meet former governor-general Michael Jeffery, chairman of the national Soils for Life program, this month, admits it has been difficult to present his message to the masses.
That was until March, when his 22-minute speech was broadcast by non-profit internet-based foundation TED. It has since been seen by more than two million people.
Mr Savory said more than 16 million hectares over five continents were being holistically managed, including in Australia. Major General Jeffery said of the 19 best-practice farming case studies identified by Soils for Life — which supports innovative practices and regenerative land management - several employ elements of the holistic management philosophy. He applauded Mr Savory for his emphasis on working in harmony with nature.
“There will be people who knock him; anybody with good ideas will be knocked by somebody, but the thing is to test his ideas and implement them if they work,” he said. “With the Soils program, we’re not trying to tell farmers this is what you must do, we’re saying here are people who are successful in a sustainable and economic and social sense, and if you want to follow suit, we’re happy to help with ideas and support.”
The Betrayed: On Warriors, Cowboys and Other Misfits. by Dr Jimmy T (Gunny) LaBaume. Click here to buy the paperback version from Land & Livestock International’s aStore.
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