AET, in partnership with the Justdiggit Foundation, is implementing the Bringing Back Grasses and Forest Cover Campaign. This is supporting the local community to revive tracts of land degraded from extensive grazing in the Olgulului-Ololarashi Group Ranch (adjacent to the Amboseli National Park), and to recover hundreds of hectares of forest cover in the Park.
The campaign combines traditional and new techniques to improve grazing management and rainwater harvesting. These include: olopololi plots, grass seedbanks, water bunds, grazing committees and woodland exclosures.
The campaign is supporting the local community to revive the traditional Maasai olopololi plots system of grazing management.
The olopololi plots are marked areas of communal land in which grazing is only allowed for certain livestock, such as calves, or during specific periods, such as at the end of the dry season, when there are fewer other places to graze.
This provides a sustainable management of the grasslands, giving degraded lands time to recover from extensive grazing and become thriving grasslands again.
Grass Seed Banks
The campaign aids the local Maasai women groups to develop grass seed banks: small parts of communal land that are used for the production of grasses and grass seeds.
The grasses and grass seeds are then sold by the women groups at the local markets or to regreening projects in the area, providing a source of income to the local women while greening the landscape.
Water bunds are semi-circular holes dug to open up the hard top layer of the soil and in turn capture rainwater running downhill.
This prevents soil erosion and restores water balance in the soil, which in turn increases the water availability for the growing seeds to sprout, resulting in the regreening of the area.
The grazing committees consist of about 130 community members who are core to the success of the campaign, as they are in charge of educating the local community on the consequences of overgrazing and the importance of regreening.
They also provide a platform for the pastoral local community to jointly develop and implement grazing guidelines and support restoration activities.
This feature of the campaign entails temporarily protecting deforested areas from large wildlife, such as elephants, subsequently enabling them to be woodlands again.
The restored woodlands cool down the area, providing shade, food and cover for birds, insects and animals.
Discover our wondrous wildlands
Explore the about 1.3 million acres of habitats and wildlife migratory corridors and dispersal areas we are jointly safeguarding in the Amboseli.