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ARS Home » Plains Area » Las Cruces, New Mexico » Range Management Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #319506

Research Project: MANAGEMENT TECHNOLOGIES FOR CONSERVATION OF WESTERN RANGELANDS

Location: Range Management Research

Title: Application of the global Land-Potential Knowledge System (LandPKS) mobile apps to land degradation, restoration and climate change adaptation

Author
item Herrick, Jeffrey - Jeff
item Acheampong, E - Non ARS Employee
item Beh, Adma - New Mexico State University
item Beniston, Joshua
item Karl, Jason
item Kimiti, David - New Mexico State University
item Ndungu, L - Non ARS Employee

Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 11/15/2014
Publication Date: 3/9/2015
Citation: Herrick, J.E., Acheampong, E., Beh, A., Beniston, J.W., Karl, J.W., Kimiti, D., Ndungu, L. 2015. Application of the global Land-Potential Knowledge System (LandPKS) mobile apps to land degradation, restoration and climate change [abstract]. UNCCD 3d Scientific Conference Book of Abstracts: “Combating desertifi cation/land degradation and drought for poverty reduction and sustainable development: the contribution of science, technology, traditional knowledge and practices”: March 9-12, 2015, Cancun, Mexico. 193-194.http://www.unccd.int/en/programmes/Science/Conferences/Documents/3sc_unccd_book-abstracts.pdf

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Combatting land degradation, promoting restoration and adapting to climate change all require an understanding of land potential. A global Land-Potential Knowledge System (LandPKS) is being developed that will address many of these limitations using an open source approach designed to allow anyone with a data-enabled mobile phone to access and contribute to knowledge that is relevant to their specific conditions (Herrick et al. 2013). The System is being developed through a global collaborative effort with funding from the USAID and USDA-ARS. Informal partnerships have been established with cooperators working for a number of organizations including the ATPS, ICRAF, AfSIS, NRT (Kenya), RCMRD, Ministries of Agriculture, and of Land and Resettlement (Namibia), NRCS, BLM, NMSU, and UNCCD SKBP among others. In Phase I, we are piloting a preliminary version with partners in northern Kenya and northern Namibia. We are testing its relevance to a number of user objectives, including land use planning, identifying areas with high potential for rangeland restoration, and determining the potential productivity and sustainabiity of crop production. We have also developed an integrated rangeland monitoring module, which uses the LandPKS to characterize the site, allowing for trend comparisons to areas with similar potential. Climate change adaptation is addressed by modifying the climate inputs to the models, allowing the impacts of different climate change scenarios on land potential to be compared. The response to pilot tests of both the LandPKS core app and the rangeland monitoring module have been extremely positive. In northern Namibia, over 100 individuals were trained to use the rangeland monitoring module to monitor the impacts of community-based rangeland management initiatives. In northern Kenya, the app is being used to target and then monitor rangeland restoration projects in 20 community conservancies and as a primary tool in the development of a rangeland monitoring plan for Samburu County. In both cases, there is a high level of satisfaction with the user interface, and recognition that the current feedback provided by this very early version of the System is necessarily quite limited.