|Animal Husbandry - Initial Environmental Assessment Series No. 2 (NORAD, 1994)|
|Part I: General account|
|3 Possible environmental impacts|
When drilling wells to supply ground-water to animals and humans, preliminary surveys have to be made to ensure that the sources are not emptied, or that the water table is not periodically lowered too much. This may have impacts, not only for the water supply, but also for the vegetation in the area. The quality of the ground-water, which may be important to health, should also be examined. See booklet 7 Water supply for a more detailed account of these conditions.
If an animal husbandry project is established near to game reserves and/or national parks, it may be relevant to consider whether a buffer zone ought to be created in the border area. Major land-demanding projects may require that large forested areas are cut. Various types of forest in the tropics, ea. rain forests, are vulnerable to clear-cutting (see booklet 3 Forestry).
Initiatives within animal husbandry may visually alter a landscape. Careful development of operational plants and installations, adaptation and cultivation of landscapes should be considered during the planning and implementation of projects. A project may at best contribute to making a landscape more scenic rather than ruining its contents and quality. Operations may also affect historical relics, burial sites and other objects that are important locally. Preliminary investigations may be required in order to avoid conflicts.
Animal husbandry, especially grazing, is a major factor regarding the development of cultivated landscapes. Such cultivated landscapes can be conservation-worthy and in need of management in order to prevent over-growth or any other alterations. For example, the Masai and their animals grazing on the mountain slopes by the Ngorongoro crater in Tanzania no doubt have great socio-cultural value, not to speak of their importance for tourism. Considering conservation and management, however, it is crucial that other economic and cultural interests do not suffer. Conservation of areas based on traditional forms of animal husbandry must take place in agreement with the local population. Those who may suffer losses on account of the operations should receive an acceptable compensation.