Perceptions of rangeland degradation and its causes in the Peruvian Altiplano dry puna
Metadata[+] Show full item record
This qualitative case study investigated rangeland degradation in Peru by better understanding the social component of the Altiplano dry puna rangeland systems. Participants' perceptions of rangeland degradation and its causes were collected from Aymara pastoralists in the Southern altiplano communities of Apopata, Chocorasi and Lacoutyo, and stakeholders consisting of scientists, government officers and NGO's representatives, using structured and semi-structured interviews and participant observation. Findings included that while stakeholders believed that rangeland degradation is severe and widespread, pastoralists believed that degradation is moderate and localized. Likewise, while stakeholders believed that rangeland condition is mostly poor and very poor, pastoralists believed that it is mostly fair. Different participants' perceptions were related to the use of different indicators. While stakeholders focused more on vegetation changes, pastoralists focused more on animal production. Perceptions of the causes of rangeland degradation were also different. While stakeholders believed that the major cause of degradation was overgrazing through overstocking and inappropriate management, pastoralists believed that the major cause was climate change. Although land fragmentation was a secondary cause for both groups, it was found that was an important driver of degradation. The different participants' perceptions responded to different actors' lifeworlds. Pastoralists' lifeworlds are constructed through their daily experience, while stakeholders' lifeworlds are influenced by the traditional range condition and trend model. The main implication of the research findings is that stakeholders' perceptions lead to inaccurate livestock development and rangeland conservation policies and programs.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 License.