Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Short Course on Restoration of Degraded Semi-arid Landscapes for PhD Students in East Africa

PVS0109 Restoration of degraded semi-arid landscapes – Livelihood, Livestock and Land use, 10.0 credits

Restorering av degraderad semi-arida landskap – levnadsvillkor, boskap och markanvändning


1 Sep 2014 - 16 Jan 2015, 30%, Mixed
Agricultural Science
Application code

Application deadline:   16 May 2014

Syllabus approved: 2014-01-10 

Subject: Agricultural Science

Marking scale: Pass / Failed

The requirements for attaining different grades are described in the course assessment criteria which are contained in a supplement to the course syllabus. Current information on assessment criteria shall be made available at the start of the course. 

Accepted as a PhD student in SLU or East African countries.

The course will provide understanding of multifunctionality and complexity of rangelands. The students should be able to relate gained knowledge to their own research topic, but also to other disciplines in a multidisciplinary context. The students should also get an insight and understanding in participatory methods and experience in use of some of the methods. In addition, through small project work, do multidisciplinary analysis and reflection.

After completing the course the student shall be able to:
  • describe pastoralism and multifunctionality of rangelands
  • describe grazing strategies and explain consequences of overstocking and overgrazing
  • discuss animal husbandry and animal production in relation to sustainable intensification
  • describe, discuss and analyze co-benefits and trade-offs between desired landscape functions of different restoration methods/techniques
  • describe the drivers of vegetation changes
  • explain carbon sequestration in rangelands under different management regimes
  • use participatory research methods in practice

This is a multidisciplinary course and it is relevant for students in different disciplines such as animal science, soil science, agroforestry, ecology, agricultural economy, rural development, etc.

The course will start with a video meeting/seminar to be followed by literature studies by the students at their home university. Field work will be the core in the course and the students will work in smaller groups or pairs during most part of the course. A high degree of interaction will be achieved by regular discussion and reflection sessions and the students will also make presentations, of individual and group assignments. The field work will be done in a "real case" where restoration of degraded rangelands has been established at different times since mid-eighties and is still going on. This gives the student a unique possibility to learn processes and changes of rangelands restorations but also to relate to their own research topic in a bigger picture. The pair of students will work with both a farmer who has implemented restoration and a farmer who has not. This in turn could be a sort of extension where the farmer not implemented can see effects of restoration methods. The up-start of the field work will be carried out at JKUAT (Nairobi) with 2 days of lectures and the students will have a possibility to meet and discuss with researchers from ICRAF and ILRI. During these two days, the students will also do individual presentations of the literature read and how they relate it to their own research area. During the field work the students will visit and interview farmers and also collect some basic data as well as "transect walks". The outcomes of the field part will later be presented orally in an end seminar but also in a course report done in a scientific report as well as in a popular science way, e.g. magazine like.

Required reading is assigned by the course organizers. Information about the course literature will be available at least four weeks before the course starts.

The examination will be composed of several parts: Introductory presentation of own research in relation to literature. Participate in all activities and exercises. Presentations of assignments and field work both orally and in written form. Approval of scientific report completed within three weeks after the field work in December and a short report written in a popular scientific way.

Additional information
All costs for the course (teaching travel costs and accommodation) will be covered by the course for students from SLU, JKUAT and other universities in East Africa. Student from other Nordic universities can take the course if place is available on their own expenses.

The course will be linked to a new research platform involving SLU, ICRAF, ILRI and other universities in Sweden and Kenya; the Triple L Initiative (

The course will be running from September 2014 to January 2015.

Responsible department: Animal Nutrition and Management, SLU; Dept. of Forest Ecology and Management, SLU; Dept of Botany at Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology, Kenya.

Location: Nairobi and West Pokot, Kenya

Responsible department
Department of Animal Nutrition and Management, SLU

Submit your application to the course leaders:

Ewa Wredle and Gert Nyberg


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