Well aligned planting ridges and raised footpaths for both soil conservation and infield rainwater harvesting
Vision and Mission
‘A nation with reduced land degradation’
“To provide efficient and diversified services on environmental conservation to the land users for sustainable use of land based resources and for socio-economic development.”
The major functions of the department are:
For effective execution of these functions, the Department is divided into three technical units
Environmental Conservation and Education Unit
Responsible for development and promotion of technologies in environmental, land and water conservation and environmental education. Environmental Education aims at sensitizing farming communities and the general public on environmental issues. The Unit is also engaged in setting and ensuring high standards in the implementation of environmental management and climate change-related programmes.
Land Resource Surveys and Evaluation Unit.
Responsible for generating, analyzing, updating, publicizing and disseminating land resources information at national and district levels for production of sustainable land use plans and targeting of interventions. This is intended to provide quality information that will facilitate sound decisions at all levels, with regard to the availability, use and management of land based natural resources. The Unit also participate in the estimation of greenhouse gases (GHGs) and development of baselines for land management and climate-related programmes.
Land Management Training Unit
Responsible for providing policy guidelines for land management training progarmmes, reviewing and developing systematic human resources development programmes. The unit collaborates with internal and external training institutions involved in land management in building capacities at different levels. Some of the training programmes coordinated and conducted by the unit includes farmer training, professional induction courses, and in-service training to both departmental staff and employees from other organizations.
Soil and Water Conservation
The problem of soil erosion is increasing due to a number of human activities including improper cultivation.
The department has been promoting contour ridging as the first line of defense against soil erosion. With time a shift was made from advocating capital intensive graded structures to low cost contour ridging using home made equipment such as the A- frame. Basically this was aimed at increasing community participation in conservation activities to ensure sustainability and spontaneous scaling up of activities. The contour ridging is supported by contour vegetative hedgerows of vetiver grass that now dominate the landscape of most conserved areas.
Soil Fertility Improvement
The continuous monocropping common in most places often with no improved inputs has led to exhaustion of soils. The Department and other partners have been promoting integrated soil fertility management that advocates the use of both organic and inorganic sources of nutrients including nutrients from plant fixation.
The Department is making efforts to encourage manure making and application, under sowing of Tephrosia vogelii, systematic interplanting of Faidherbia albida and improved fallows and alley cropping.