Land Degradation Assessment By Farmers in Bolivian Mountain Valleys

A. Kessler, L. Stroosnijder

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

29 Citations (Scopus)


A methodology is presented for assessing the seriousness and impact of land degradation, from a historical and a farmer perspective, in regions where data are not available. Farmers have been directly involved in the assessment of soil, productivity and vegetation cover loss over the past decades, both on cropland and on rangeland. The results for the Bolivian mountain valleys in north Chuquisaca show that the intensive use of small cropland fields has increased soil degradation and consequently led to less water and nutrient availability. Due to the subsequent productivity loss many cropland fields have been abandoned. Rangeland is also severely degraded as a result of the excessive removal of vegetation and subsequent soil loss. Farmers are very concerned, but consider the impact of changed rainfall and less available cropland beyond their control. Consequently, no serious initiatives are taken to solve the land degradation problem. This research adduces evidence of increased land degradation in the Bolivian mountain valleys over recent decades, and stresses the need for urgent (integrated) action with regard to soil and water conservation
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)235-248
JournalLand Degradation and Development
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2006


  • soil-erosion
  • altiplano


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