CBRR | Biomass Surveys | Grazing Behaviour | Flock Management & Health | Economic Studies | Local Knowledge | Publication
Forage replacement and research on native forage production are an important part of the RBG's Community-Based Rangeland Rehabilitation (CBRR) programme.
Before the establishment of the Royal Botanic Garden in Tell Ar-Rumman, local herders used to bring their sheep and goats to graze at the site. The land was practically grazed bare, like so many other unregulated rural areas in Jordan. There were major soil degradation and habitat destruction problems, caused by overgrazing.
The herders were initially against the RBG, as forage was of course a main concern for them. When they found they could no longer have access to the RBG grounds, they felt that their livelihood was being threatened. At first, they used to jump the fence. But now they are our protectors and stewards.
After a number of public info meetings, we found a way to work together. The RBG explained the need to re-establish the vegetation. Then we talked about the forage and grazing experiments we were planning, that would ultimately be beneficial for them.
But the key factor that got the herders' attention and brought their long-term support was our offer of forage replacement, to compensate for the loss of grazing land.
The local herders now regularly receive allotments of fodder for their herds from the RBG, along with many other kinds of practical assistance.
We are happy to report that the fodder replacement programme has allowed the RBG land to recover spectacularly. The increase in biomass is above 30% overall, and much higher in some locations.
Native Forage Feeds Project
As part of its initiative to develop a model for community-based grazing management, the RBG began its Native Forage Feeds Project in winter 2010-2011.
This project involved planting about 200 dunums in the Garden with adapted forage shrubs, to demonstrate the cultivation of drought-resistant native forage feeds.
The plants selected for the project were Atriplex and Salasola species. Water harvesting techniques were used to promote their growth.