Proceedings of the 14th International Peat Congress
alpine, economic, management, restoration, wetland
Theme V. Restoration, rehabilitation and after-use of disturbed peatlands
The high altitude catchments of Lesotho are extremely important as they are the largest watersheds in Southern Africa and are responsible for regulating 43% of the region’s mean annual rainfall. They are also important both locally and regionally, as they have an economic value to Lesotho as pasture lands for livestock.
The Lesotho alpine wetlands have two important conservation values. One is their ability to stabilize the hydrological regime of the region and the other is their biotic uniqueness, as they are found nowhere else in the world.
Alpine wetlands in Lesotho are in a poor condition. Their degradation status can be attributed to two main factors; the climate which has become drier over the years and poor land use practices, overgrazing and trampling by livestock.
The ultimate option for the restoration and rehabilitation of these wetlands would be to reduce grazing pressure of livestock from these areas.