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Tropentag, September 17 - 19, 2018 in Ghent

"Global food security and food safety: The role of universities"

Implementation, Monitoring and Management of a Pilot Rehabilitation Measure on Degraded Sloped Pastures in Brazil

Roman Seliger1, Dietmar Sattler1, Juliana Marisa Santos2, Antonio Soares Da Silva3, Juergen Heinrich1, Helga Restum Hissa4

1Leipzig University, Inst. of Geography, Germany
2University of Jena, GIScience, Germany
3State University of Rio de Janeiro, Dept. of Geography, Brazil
4Secretariat of Agriculture and Livestock of the State of Rio de Janeiro - SEAPEC, Rio Rural Programme, Brazil


Dairy cattle farming at moderately to strongly inclined pasture slopes represent the main land use in the State of Rio de Janeiro, occupying more than 50% of the States area, formerly covered by pristine Atlantic Forest areas. Inappropriate pasture management in a geo-ecologically sensitive environment with changing regional climate has led to severe pasture degradation during the last century. Sustainable and adequate pasture management strategies are urgently needed to decelerate further soil degradation and to guarantee future land productivity while maintaining essential ecosystem services. The pilot rehabilitation measure (PRM) “Slope parcelling hedgerow terraces for extensive rotational pastures” aims at breaking the erosive power of surface runoff and interflow, accelerating grass recovery and decelerating erosion along with site-compatible rotational cattle management. It is embedded in the overall concept of relocating extensively-used pastures from fragile sloped to favourable, productive and intensively-managed plain areas. The PRM represents a pragmatic and participative (farmer-oriented) approach, at rather low cost. Its modular character allows a site-specific implementation (transferability) and adaptation that integrates existing resources and (traditional) farming best practices. Only scientifically proven measures accepted by the farmer community are supposed to be successfully applied and managed over a long time. Besides bio-engineering aspects of the implementation (terrace construction, planting scheme of various native tree-species, irrigation concept, pasture melioration) and recommended management strategies of the PRM, a two year scientific monitoring of the pilot area (shrub performance on terraces, closure of vegetation cover, soil quality and erosion) is presented. The latter allows the evaluation of the measures' success and impact. The PRM will be discussed in the context of other vegetative and structural pasture rehabilitation approaches.

Keywords: Bio-engineering, degradation, pilot rehabilitation measure, rural area, sloped pasture

Contact Address: Roman Seliger, Leipzig University, Inst. of Geography, Johannisallee 19, 04103 Leipzig, Germany, e-mail: roman.seliger@uni-leipzig.de

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