In Holistic Management one of the key insights is the ‘brittleness scale.’ In parts of the world where the moisture distribution is relatively even throughout the year, habitats regenerate well under the tool of rest; these ecosystems are considered ‘non-brittle.’
In other regions such as Kenya with highly seasonal rainfall, ecosystems are considered 'brittle' and breakdown under rest.
The Maasai have traditionally been nomadic pastoralist cattle herders, grazing vast areas of African Savannah. Lately the Maasai have been squeezed into smaller land holdings and the change in management, compounded with deforestation and climate change are quickly turning their lands to desert.
As with the communities occupying most of the drylands of the world, the Maasai rely upon livestock for food. Natural water sources are becoming incredibly scarce and many Maasai have been forced to move to the city to find jobs accelerating the loss of their traditional culture. Ever increasing city population compounds the global food crisis - all food has to be grown somewhere - increasing the likelihood of war triggered by pressure on limited resources.
The wildlife have left too. With no water and huge loss of habitat, the once abundant flora and fauna has been reduced to sparse scrub.
We can help the Maasai move into a regenerative pastoralist system and teach holistic management to help them adjust to a new way of living. By encouraging communities to pool cattle and organise their resources holistically, communities can preserve many of their traditional ways, secure food, water and create new sources of income.
Regenerative pastoralism can rebuild healthy grassland ecosystems which creates the habitat required for the wildlife to return. Healthy grasslands sequesters tons of CO2 from the atmosphere and are an important part of tackling climate change.
Maasai women and men will be trained in the importance of wildlife for creating a resilient future environment and shown how to develop businesses associated with their healthy land, livestock, flora and fauna.
If cattle are bunched and moved to mimic large herds of wild ruminants they will helps 'chip' the hard ground and trample scrub to the floor which helps mineral cycling and to trap moisture after the rains. As long as adequate recovery is accommodated, the grazing, dunging and urinating stimulates the cycle of birth, growth, death and decay which helps to regenerate the grassland.