Technologies

Controlled grazing in deciduous woods as an alternative to grazing on rangeland [Italy]

Pascolo controllato

technologies_1463 - Italy

Completeness: 80%

1. General information

1.2 Contact details of resource persons and institutions involved in the assessment and documentation of the Technology

Key resource person(s)

SLM specialist:
Name of project which facilitated the documentation/ evaluation of the Technology (if relevant)
DESIRE (EU-DES!RE)
Name of the institution(s) which facilitated the documentation/ evaluation of the Technology (if relevant)
Universidad Autonoma de San Luis Potosi (Universidad Autonoma de San Luis Potosi) - Mexico
Name of the institution(s) which facilitated the documentation/ evaluation of the Technology (if relevant)
Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche (CNR) - Italy

1.3 Conditions regarding the use of data documented through WOCAT

When were the data compiled (in the field)?

05/06/2011

The compiler and key resource person(s) accept the conditions regarding the use of data documented through WOCAT:

Yes

2. Description of the SLM Technology

2.1 Short description of the Technology

Definition of the Technology:

Controlled grazing in deciduous woods seasonally limited in summer when grass cover in rangeland suffers water stress.

2.2 Detailed description of the Technology

Description:

During the driest season, farmers shifts grazing to deciduous forest. Grazing in forest is controlled because it is limited to specific areas and with a controlled number of animals (cows and goats). In deciduous forest, the animals can still find green grass in the dry season. This action prevents excessive stress in the surrounding rangelands, which are suffering from a seasonal summer water deficit, as is typical of areas with a Mediterranean climate.

Purpose of the Technology: One purpose of this management technology is to allow grazing in environments that still preserve grasses in the summer dry season. Moreover, this technology can prevent overgrazing (and its consequences in rangeland and pastures). Controlled grazing is typical in the Rendina watershed (Basilicata, Italy).

Establishment / maintenance activities and inputs: The upper part of the watershed is located above 800 m a.s.l. and is characterized by deciduous oak forest, which every 20 years is subject to selective cutting. Selective cutting involves cutting a high percentage of a limited range of tree species. Within about 10 years, regeneration of the whole wooded area is possible. This allows for a constant regeneration of the woodland and reduces the probability of a progressive degradation as well as of wildfires due to an excessive build-up of the fuel load. The surrounding areas are either cultivated or rangeland and suffer from the soil erosion and landslides that give rise to degradation and hence to the loss of arable lands.

Natural / human environment: Forests are either government-owned or privately-owned, but controlled grazing woodland areas are mostly government-owned. Based on the number of grazing animals admitted, the farmers need to pay a tax to the municipalities or regions. Each farmer has a specific number of animals admitted to the woodland area and there is a overall maximum of animals especially during summer, when a risk of overgrazing exists. Access to private forest, on the other hand, is arranged directly with the owners.
Grazing is organized on a daily basis by the herdsman. The controlled grazing areas are always located in the woodlands where selective cutting is carried out. In such areas livestock during summer can enter and move more easily in the relatively cool conditions.

When controlled grazing is adopted as the conventional management technology, selective cutting of trees every 20 years is also used to provide additional earnings from the sale of firewood.
Annual rainfall is 500 mm with two rainy seasons (October-November and March-May). Potential evapotranspiration is up to 1100 mm annually. The Rendina catchment ranges from humid-subhumid to subhumid-semiarid conditions. The surrounding area ranges from (subhumid)-semiarid to semiarid-arid.

2.3 Photos of the Technology

2.5 Country/ region/ locations where the Technology has been applied and which are covered by this assessment

Country:

Italy

Region/ State/ Province:

Potenza / regione basilicata

Further specification of location:

Rendina Basin

2.6 Date of implementation

If precise year is not known, indicate approximate date:
  • 10-50 years ago

2.7 Introduction of the Technology

Specify how the Technology was introduced:
  • through land users' innovation

3. Classification of the SLM Technology

3.1 Main purpose(s) of the Technology

  • reduce, prevent, restore land degradation
  • conserve ecosystem

3.2 Current land use type(s) where the Technology is applied

Forest/ woodlands

Forest/ woodlands

(Semi-)natural forests/ woodlands:
  • Selective felling
Products and services:
  • Grazing/ browsing
Mixed (crops/ grazing/ trees), incl. agroforestry

Mixed (crops/ grazing/ trees), incl. agroforestry

  • Silvo-pastoralism
Comments:

Major land use problems (compiler’s opinion): The land users claim about reduction of vegetation cover.

Major land use problems (land users’ perception): This impacts water and tillage erosion and landslides but is not considered as main issue by land user, yet.

Future (final) land use (after implementation of SLM Technology): Mixed: Ms: Silvo-pastoralism

If land use has changed due to the implementation of the Technology, indicate land use before implementation of the Technology:

Forests / woodlands: Fn: Natural

3.3 Further information about land use

Water supply for the land on which the Technology is applied:
  • rainfed
Number of growing seasons per year:
  • 2
Specify:

Longest growing period in days: 90Longest growing period from month to month: Apr - JunSecond longest growing period in days: 30Second longest growing period from month to month: Oct - Oct

Livestock density (if relevant):

25-50 LU /km2

3.4 SLM group to which the Technology belongs

  • pastoralism and grazing land management

3.5 Spread of the Technology

Comments:

Total area covered by the SLM Technology is 10 m2.

Renina Watershed - above 800 m a.s.l.

3.6 SLM measures comprising the Technology

management measures

management measures

  • M7: Others
Comments:

Main measures: management measures

3.7 Main types of land degradation addressed by the Technology

soil erosion by water

soil erosion by water

  • Wt: loss of topsoil/ surface erosion
biological degradation

biological degradation

  • Bc: reduction of vegetation cover
  • Bq: quantity/ biomass decline
Comments:

Main type of degradation addressed: Bc: reduction of vegetation cover

Secondary types of degradation addressed: Wt: loss of topsoil / surface erosion, Bq: quantity / biomass decline

Main causes of degradation: overgrazing, land tenure

Secondary causes of degradation: droughts

3.8 Prevention, reduction, or restoration of land degradation

Specify the goal of the Technology with regard to land degradation:
  • reduce land degradation

4. Technical specifications, implementation activities, inputs, and costs

4.2 Technical specifications/ explanations of technical drawing

Technical knowledge required for field staff / advisors: moderate

Technical knowledge required for land users: moderate

Main technical functions: improvement of ground cover

Secondary technical functions: stabilisation of soil (eg by tree roots against land slides), increase of biomass (quantity)

Change of land use practices / intensity level

4.3 General information regarding the calculation of inputs and costs

other/ national currency (specify):

euro

Indicate exchange rate from USD to local currency (if relevant): 1 USD =:

0.8

Indicate average wage cost of hired labour per day:

100.00

4.4 Establishment activities

Activity Type of measure Timing
1. Selective cutting of woodland Management

4.5 Costs and inputs needed for establishment

Specify input Unit Quantity Costs per Unit Total costs per input % of costs borne by land users
Labour Selective cutting of woodland ha 2.0 300.0 600.0 50.0
Labour Labour ha 1.0 100.0 100.0 100.0
Total costs for establishment of the Technology 700.0
Comments:

Duration of establishment phase: 1 month(s)

4.6 Maintenance/ recurrent activities

Activity Type of measure Timing/ frequency
1. Selective cutting of woodland every 20 years Management
2. Shifting animals in closed woodland areas Management

4.7 Costs and inputs needed for maintenance/ recurrent activities (per year)

Specify input Unit Quantity Costs per Unit Total costs per input % of costs borne by land users
Labour Selective cutting of woodland every 20 years ha 2.0 300.0 600.0 50.0
Labour Shifting animals in closed woodland areas ha 2.0 150.0 300.0 100.0
Labour Labour ha 1.0 75.0 75.0 100.0
Total costs for maintenance of the Technology 975.0
Comments:

Selective felling only done every 20 years. Hence the costs ae not as high as they might seem.

4.8 Most important factors affecting the costs

Describe the most determinate factors affecting the costs:

Labour costs are the most important determining factor affecting the costs.

5. Natural and human environment

5.1 Climate

Annual rainfall
  • < 250 mm
  • 251-500 mm
  • 501-750 mm
  • 751-1,000 mm
  • 1,001-1,500 mm
  • 1,501-2,000 mm
  • 2,001-3,000 mm
  • 3,001-4,000 mm
  • > 4,000 mm
Specifications/ comments on rainfall:

autumn and spring rain season

Agro-climatic zone
  • sub-humid

Thermal climate class: temperate

5.2 Topography

Slopes on average:
  • flat (0-2%)
  • gentle (3-5%)
  • moderate (6-10%)
  • rolling (11-15%)
  • hilly (16-30%)
  • steep (31-60%)
  • very steep (>60%)
Landforms:
  • plateau/plains
  • ridges
  • mountain slopes
  • hill slopes
  • footslopes
  • valley floors
Altitudinal zone:
  • 0-100 m a.s.l.
  • 101-500 m a.s.l.
  • 501-1,000 m a.s.l.
  • 1,001-1,500 m a.s.l.
  • 1,501-2,000 m a.s.l.
  • 2,001-2,500 m a.s.l.
  • 2,501-3,000 m a.s.l.
  • 3,001-4,000 m a.s.l.
  • > 4,000 m a.s.l.

5.3 Soils

Soil depth on average:
  • very shallow (0-20 cm)
  • shallow (21-50 cm)
  • moderately deep (51-80 cm)
  • deep (81-120 cm)
  • very deep (> 120 cm)
Soil texture (topsoil):
  • medium (loamy, silty)
  • fine/ heavy (clay)
Topsoil organic matter:
  • high (>3%)
If available, attach full soil description or specify the available information, e.g. soil type, soil PH/ acidity, Cation Exchange Capacity, nitrogen, salinity etc.

Soil fertility is: Medium-high
Soil drainage/infiltration is good
Soil water storage capacity is high

5.4 Water availability and quality

Ground water table:

5-50 m

Availability of surface water:

medium

Water quality (untreated):

good drinking water

5.5 Biodiversity

Species diversity:
  • medium

5.6 Characteristics of land users applying the Technology

Market orientation of production system:
  • mixed (subsistence/ commercial
  • commercial/ market
Off-farm income:
  • less than 10% of all income
Relative level of wealth:
  • poor
  • average
Individuals or groups:
  • individual/ household
Gender:
  • men
Indicate other relevant characteristics of the land users:

Land users applying the Technology are mainly common / average land users

Population density: 10-50 persons/km2

Annual population growth: < 0.5%

10% of the land users are rich.
60% of the land users are average wealthy and own 80% of the land.
30% of the land users are poor.

5.7 Average area of land owned or leased by land users applying the Technology

  • < 0.5 ha
  • 0.5-1 ha
  • 1-2 ha
  • 2-5 ha
  • 5-15 ha
  • 15-50 ha
  • 50-100 ha
  • 100-500 ha
  • 500-1,000 ha
  • 1,000-10,000 ha
  • > 10,000 ha
Is this considered small-, medium- or large-scale (referring to local context)?
  • medium-scale
Comments:

Average area of land owned or leased by land users applying the Technology: Also 5-15 ha, 15-50 ha

5.8 Land ownership, land use rights, and water use rights

Land ownership:
  • individual, not titled
Land use rights:
  • leased
  • individual
Water use rights:
  • open access (unorganized)
  • individual

5.9 Access to services and infrastructure

health:
  • poor
  • moderate
  • good
education:
  • poor
  • moderate
  • good
technical assistance:
  • poor
  • moderate
  • good
employment (e.g. off-farm):
  • poor
  • moderate
  • good
markets:
  • poor
  • moderate
  • good
energy:
  • poor
  • moderate
  • good
roads and transport:
  • poor
  • moderate
  • good
drinking water and sanitation:
  • poor
  • moderate
  • good
financial services:
  • poor
  • moderate
  • good

6. Impacts and concluding statements

6.1 On-site impacts the Technology has shown

Socio-economic impacts

Production

crop production

decreased
increased

animal production

decreased
increased

risk of production failure

increased
decreased

energy generation

decreased
increased
Comments/ specify:

Forest wood

Socio-cultural impacts

SLM/ land degradation knowledge

reduced
improved

Improved livelihoods and human well-being

decreased
increased
Comments/ specify:

The technology can contribute to education of young farmers.

Ecological impacts

Soil

soil cover

reduced
improved

soil loss

increased
decreased
Biodiversity: vegetation, animals

biomass/ above ground C

decreased
increased
Other ecological impacts

Risk of overgrazing in the woodland

increased
decreased
Comments/ specify:

Only if grazing is not well controlled

6.2 Off-site impacts the Technology has shown

downstream flooding

increased
reduced

downstream siltation

increased
decreased

damage on public/ private infrastructure

increased
reduced

6.3 Exposure and sensitivity of the Technology to gradual climate change and climate-related extremes/ disasters (as perceived by land users)

Gradual climate change

Gradual climate change
Season Type of climatic change/ extreme How does the Technology cope with it?
annual temperature increase well

Other climate-related consequences

Other climate-related consequences
How does the Technology cope with it?
reduced growing period not well
Comments:

increase the number or the extension of the areas within the basin where controlled grazing can be established and performed.

6.4 Cost-benefit analysis

How do the benefits compare with the establishment costs (from land users’ perspective)?
Short-term returns:

slightly positive

Long-term returns:

positive

How do the benefits compare with the maintenance/ recurrent costs (from land users' perspective)?
Short-term returns:

positive

Long-term returns:

positive

Comments:

It is very cheap to maintain the measure. In the surrounding areas, where land should be less degraded due to reduced grazing, more trees can be planted and allowed to grow in future.

6.5 Adoption of the Technology

If available, quantify (no. of households and/ or area covered):

20

Of all those who have adopted the Technology, how many have did so spontaneously, i.e. without receiving any material incentives/ payments?
  • 50-90%
Comments:

50% of land user families have adopted the Technology with external material support

10 land user families have adopted the Technology with external material support

50% of land user families have adopted the Technology without any external material support

10 land user families have adopted the Technology without any external material support

There is no trend towards spontaneous adoption of the Technology

6.7 Strengths/ advantages/ opportunities of the Technology

Strengths/ advantages/ opportunities in the land user’s view
good animal production

How can they be sustained / enhanced? the general quality of the products of the grazing (milk, beef and cheese) is improved due to the availability of more grass and water in the driest periods of the year.
Strengths/ advantages/ opportunities in the compiler’s or other key resource person’s view
good impact with low cost

How can they be sustained / enhanced? facilitate access to public forest land

6.8 Weaknesses/ disadvantages/ risks of the Technology and ways of overcoming them

Weaknesses/ disadvantages/ risks in the land user’s view How can they be overcome?
risk of overgrazing of the woodland area, if the area is not well controlled ensure control mechanisms
rights of access to public lands and forest management rules the regional legislative process should define better the management of the access of farmers to public lands and in general the whole controlled grazing process.
Weaknesses/ disadvantages/ risks in the compiler’s or other key resource person’s view How can they be overcome?
limited wooded areas available for public access creation of managed enlosures in order to increase natural reforestation or afforestation.

7. References and links

7.2 References to available publications

Title, author, year, ISBN:

Official Bulletin of the Basilicata region (Italy): N. 29 – 29/04/2002; N. 22 – 16/06/2008.Cocca C. & Campanile G. (2005). Pascolo in bosco solo se controllato. Agrifoglio, N. 7, pages 20-21.

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