A cornerstone of the UNCCD is that it should be participatory and involve as many end-users as possible and this attitude has also been employed in the national review. To this end, 34 workshops were held around the country in 1997/98 involving more than 450 agricultural extension officers from the Department of Agriculture. Participants were asked about their perceptions of land degradation in structured workshops lasting several hours each. The general approach used can be found in Chapter 2 of the Literature Review. From the information collected at these workshops, a soil degradation index, a veld degradation index and a combined (soil and veld) degradation index was calculated for each of the 367 magisterial districts in South Africa.
This map shows the location of the 34 workshops held in South Africa.
Several case studies were also conducted in magisterial districts identified either as being in "good" condition or in relatively "poor" condition. Local farmers and community leaders were consulted about their perceptions of land degradation in the areas under their management.