Top-Down or Bottom-Up: Approaches for Addressing Land Degradation in Swaziland and Botswana

  • Josh Baller University of Alberta
Keywords: Environment, land degradation, policy


The strategies taken by a particular government are largely based upon their socio-cultural and political background. This paper will examine two countries that, while sharing regional proximity and similar conditions surrounding land degradation, have drastically different forms of governance: Swaziland and Botswana. We will examine the problem of land degradation in these countries generally and what aspects of socio-political organization in each country have affected the rate and severity of the problem. This paper will highlight the policy paths taken by Swaziland and Botswana and examine the irony of their methods. Despite Swaziland’s central administration and land tenure systems, they have adopted a more participatory approach to addressing land degradation compared to Botswana, a democratic country.