Prospects for subsistence livelihood and environmental sustainability along the Kalahari Transect: The case of Matsheng in Botswana's Kalahari rangelands

R. Chanda, O. Totolo, N. Moleele, M. Setshogo, S. Mosweu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

29 Citations (Scopus)


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.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)425-445
Number of pages21
JournalJournal of Arid Environments
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jun 1 2003


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Ecology
  • Earth-Surface Processes

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