Botswana's Kalahari rangelands have historically supported a diversity of wildlife and a number of subsistence livelihood activities, such as agropastoralism, hunting and gathering. Recently, however, concerns about environmental and livelihood sustainability in the Kalahari have been raised. This paper demonstrates the validity of these concerns using data from research undertaken in the Matsheng area of southwest Botswana. It is illustrated that: (a) Matsheng soils are too infertile to sustain productive arable farming, (b) herbaceous vegetation cover decreases in a reversed decay function towards settlements, (c) the herbaceous vegetation cover trend is inversely reflected by woody-thorny vegetation, (d) despite being a major rangeland activity, livestock production benefits only a minority of inhabitants, and (e) rangelands are no longer the major source of livelihood for the majority.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
- Earth-Surface Processes