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Participatory Savannah Management: A Community Based Integrated Biochar System For South Africa

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Abstract

© 2012 Pulver ABSTRACT The Limpopo Province is the poorest region in South Africa. Strategies to alleviate poverty have done little to empower the majority of small, rural, emerging black farmers. Unsustainable farming practices have led to widespread soil degradation, bush encroachment, loss of biodiversity and declining productivity. Integrated biochar systems can be used to help reverse environmental degradation, increase yield and improve resource use efficiency. Species encroachment in native savannahs, in particular, has reduced browse quality for wildlife. Selective bush harvesting by local community members removes problem species and provides income from firewood sales. On the household scale, combustion of fuel wood in biochar cook stoves, with culturally sensitive designs, can improve fuel use efficiency and produce biochar for soil amelioration. The integrated biochar system enables shared stewardship of fragile environments and encourages use of agroecological principles to minimize adverse impacts to savannahs and help restore their biodiversity.

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2012-05-27

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Biochar; Integrated biochar systems; Savanna bush encroachment

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Union Local

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Committee Chair

Thies, Janice E.

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Committee Member

Wien, Hans Christian

Degree Discipline

Soil and Crop Sciences

Degree Name

M.S., Soil and Crop Sciences

Degree Level

Master of Science

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Government Document

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dissertation or thesis

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