Lesotho herdboys named for Global 500 Honour Awards

Nairobi- Kenya (PANA) -- The UN Environment Programme Thursday announced the nomination of Khohlooa, Matholoana and Likobo Herdboys of Lesotho to the Global 500 Honour Roll for their outstanding contributions in protecting the environment.
The herdboys from the village communities in Thupa-Kubu, Berea District in Lesotho, though a disadvantaged group of Basotho society, are the day-to-day managers of the environment, UNEP said.
"Their involvement in natural resource management came about as a result of their concern over the limited supply of forage in grazing areas in their villages, which has resulted in poor livestock yields," the environmental conservation agency explained.
The herdboys have carried out simple soil and water conservation measures, including the setting up of silt traps and the planting of "Kikuyu grass" to reclaim dongas, it cited.
They also keep bees for honey-producing purposes in their respective areas.
While herding, they have prepared 7,000 holes to plant trees for fuelwood and shade, and have to date managed to plant 1,300 seedlings.
They have also built a dam to collect water for their animals and irrigate fodder and vegetables.
In their declared environmental conservation efforts, they motivated herders from 21 villages in 1998 to undertake soil and water conservation activities that resulted in less trespassing on pasture-land.
The move also reduced quarrelling over communal grazing areas, while the burning of village grazing spaces has been reduced.
"The winners of UNEP's Global 500 Honour Roll are members of a broad and growing environmental movement that is flourishing around the world.
They have taken the path that most of us hesitate to take for want of time or caring," UNEP's executive director, Klaus Topfer told reporters.
"In honouring the Global 500 laureates, UNEP hopes that others will be inspired by their extraordinary deeds," he added.
The group of herders joins 18 individuals and organizations already nominated to receive the honour in 2001.
Others are a husband and wife from Malaysia who have rescued over a quarter million turtle eggs and a Kenyan doctor who has almost single-handedly transformed an old stone quarry into a nature reserve.
An American company specialising in eco-tourism and a Canadian teenager who began battling against pesticide misuse at the age of 10 were also nominated for the award which will be presented in Torino, Italy at the World Environment Day celebrations on 5 June.

31 may 2001 08:46:00

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