Natural resource management in the Didinga hills: a baseline study from Budi county, South Sudan

Natural resource management in the Didinga hills: a baseline study from Budi county, South Sudan

The nature and extent of resource degradation, South Sudan

Environmental degradation arising from the depletion of forest biodiversity and the resulting problems of soil erosion, water shortage, climate change and poverty, have become issues of global concern. Areas such as Buda county in South Sudan are subject to political instability and socio-cultural practices which have exacerbated environmental degradation problems.

This study, assessing the extent and causes of the natural resource management (NRM) problems of the area, aimed to document accurate baseline data that could pave the way for developing management strategies that are locally appropriate and acceptable to foster sustainable natural resource management.

Participatory data collection tools were used, including interviews and group discussions with local community leaders and farmers. The paper finds that:

  • there are severe environmental degradation problems in Budi caused by deforestation, poor NRM, soil erosion and overgrazing
  • the causes of these problems are the prolonged civil war in South Sudan and the cattle raiding culture which has forced people to settle and cultivate in the steep slopes of the hills for security reasons
  • farmers in the study area had not realized the scope of NRM and environmental problems in their areas - they have not put much effort in NRM and particularly in tree planting, soil and water management.

[adapted from author]

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