Animals & Wildlife Magazine

Overgrazing is a Major Cause of the Horror in Syria

By Garry Rogers @Garry_Rogers

Overgrazing is a major cause of the horror in Syria“In 1958, the vast semi-arid to arid Syrian steppe was made into a free access (unrestricted) commons by the Syrian national government. This overturned the sustainable type of grazing practiced by the Bedouins for centuries. The tribes and clans of the steppe had developed systems of limiting exploitation of the steppe beyond the grazing that would be sustainable. They even had large rest and restoration areas set by tribal custom and decision.

“Turning the whole thing into a commons led exactly to what we should expect, “the tragedy of the commons.” After almost 50 years of this degradation came the 2006–10 drought. Then came the collapse of the economy and great destabilization of society in the rural interior. The rebellion against the Syrian government had its origins there” From:

GR:  Grazing mismanagement of Earth’s arid lands has eroded the soil, introduced invasive weeds, reduced productivity, and reduced biodiversity in a process known as desertification.  Add climate change droughts and floods exacerbated by climate change, and it is no surprise that people are unhappy.

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