The Author

Richard Senneville

Richard is a French entrepreneur and human rights activist who writes about politics, economics and sustainability policies.

There is a much bigger problem than global warming that humanity must overcome: changing mindset is the biggest challenge in all cultures and societies. When we think about the causes of global warming we immediately focus on human-related greenhouse gas emissions as the major contributors such as cattle farming.

A third of Earth’s land surface is grassland and 70% of the grassland have been degraded. Desertification and global warming are intricately connected. Man made desertification and ecosystem degradation have, over the course of the millennia, emitted more carbon dioxide into the atmosphere than has been emitted so far by the burning of fossil fuels. 

Desertification is a form of land degradation where fertile land gradually deteriorate into a wasteland. Climate variations and human activities like overgrazing, deforestation, agricultural activities, over-exploitation of vegetation for domestic use and bio-industrial activities are the major causes of desertification. 

While livestock farms have bad implications for climate change, it also presents opportunities to mitigate emissions and reduce livestock’s carbon footprint, reverse global desertification and therefore climate change. That’s what ecologist Allan Savory and his Institute demonstrated in the last decades in Africa. Today, he implements his work worldwide.

Holistic management to heal lands & boost eco-systems

Rapid deforestation and large-scale degradation of dry-land soils and vegetation have continued to comprise up to 20% of rising greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere. Degraded lands contribute to increase climate extremes such as heatwaves, droughts and flash floods. Vegetation loss and soil degradation also enhance ecosystem sensitivity to further erosion and desertification.

It is therefore vital to rage against desertification, now. For a long time until today we blamed cattle farming to be one of the main causes of gas emissions and grassland degradation. Well, we were totally wrong. We simply misunderstood how operate the symbiosis between land and livestock.

Human mismanagement is the cause of land degradation. Holistic Management uses decision-making and planning processes that give people the insights and management tools needed to work with the web of complexity that exists in nature: resulting in better, more informed decisions that balance key social, environmental, and financial considerations.

In the context of the ecological restoration of grasslands worldwide, managers implement Holistic Planned Grazing to properly manage livestock to turn wastelands into healthy grasslands. Abundance happens when underlying systems are working well. Holistic management allow these systems to heal and thrive. It is a profitable and sustainable way forward for land rehabilitation.

Holistic management should be implemented in governmental and international institutions’ sustainable development policies 

The effects of holistic management transcend environmental, economic & human dimensions and encourage virtuous circles for a sustainable future: land rehabilitation, regenerative & sustainable agriculture, food and water security, preventing erosion, desertification.

For decades now, Allan Savory and the Savory Institute proved in different countries across the globe that holistic planned grazing is a powerful and successful tool to fight desertification. Studies today report that the decline in land productivity and biodiversity loss remain serious concerns.

Since Allan Savory’s holistic planned grazing have been proven to successfully work on a global scale no matter what the nature of the land is, it can easily be put in effect today in global development policies fighting the climate change. For instance, the European Union 2030 Agenda for sustainable development set 17 goals for a sustainable future.

More precisely, goal# 15.3 aim by 2030 to combat desertification, restore degraded land and soil, including land affected by desertification, drought and floods, and strive to achieve a land degradation-neutral world.

Allan Savory’s work is part of the big picture: large scale soil regeneration, significant increase of the quality of agricultural crops, food and water security, species-savior-level work. The European Union would fail its sustainable development promises if it underestimate the huge potential of Allan Savory’s holistic management strategy.

Savory provides a natural and an easy-to-implement tool to fight against desertification and global warming all over the globe. Holistic management is an effective solution to reduce gas emissions in the atmosphere by healing the grasslands, and is incredibly complementary to the transition from a fossil fuel-based economy to one based on renewable energy supported by governmental institutions.

Livestock, properly managed, are key to healthy grasslands. Healthy grasslands absorb and store carbon in soils ; teem with water and a biodiversity of species ; provide nutritious, healthy foods ; create economic abundance for farmers and ranchers.

American biologist, college professor and politician Barry Commoner was the first to claim in the early 70’s that the first rule of ecology is that everything is connected to everything else. Allan Savory proved it so to the public thanks to his research and studies. Governmental and international institutions should embrace Allan Savory’s Holistic management, now. The world is running out of time, we must act now.


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