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A LADA-local assessment manual [Part1 and Part2] was developed as part of the LADA project in collaboration with the University of East Anglia and WOCAT. The manual consists of two parts and several annexes aimed at providing guidelines for the characterization of local areas in terms of land degradation and conservation measures. It was refined and piloted in collaboration with the six pilot LADA countries (Argentina, China, Cuba, Senegal, South Africa and Tunisia) which provide a wide range of dryland situations and contexts.

In principle, the assessment manual is intended as a rapid but robust assessment methodology to collect baseline data on land degradation and improvement for planning, priority setting and subsequent monitoring activities. The assessment follows a participatory approach in order to obtain a stronger involvement of the local stakeholders. The methodology aims to identify the current status and circumstances of land degradation or conservation, as well as its historical development and perception of it by the land users in order to determine the drivers and impacts of land degradation and sustainable land management.


In order to test the local assessment methodology in South Africa, assessments were conducted in the following four study areas:

  • Mphanama village (Fetakgomo Local Municipality, Greater Sekhukhune District, Limpopo)
  • Ga-Kgatla village (Blouberg Local Municipality, Capricorn District, Limpopo)
  • Emmaus area (Okhahlamba Local Municipality, Uthukela District, KZN)
  • Winterton area - commercial farms (Okhahlamba Local Municipality, Uthukela District, KZN)