SLU news

SLU granted for innovative research to achieve the Global Goals in East Africa

Published: 01 October 2020
Cows in African field

Achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in East African drylands is the focus of the research project called Drylands Transform that recently has been funded with 2 million Euros from the research council FORMAS. SLU will lead the multidisciplinary team with researchers from universities in Sweden and East Africa, and international research & communication centres.

Drylands covers 40 % of the global land area and hosts 2 billion people of which 90% live in low- or middle-income countries. Drylands often face severe land degradation, low agricultural productivity, rapid population growth, widespread poverty and poor health. Livestock-based livelihoods, largely depending on seasonal migration is the norm. People and land are highly vulnerable to climate change, while there are also changes in land tenure, insecurity/conflicts and rapid infrastructure growth. Governance structures and institutions are often eroded.

"SDGs 2 (Zero hunger), 15 (Life on land) and 16 (Peace, justice and strong institutions) being the focus of this work are threatened in many dryland areas, but there are opportunities to turn this around and create synergies between the targets. We will use innovative approaches in dryland borders of Kenya and Uganda focusing on livelihood improvement through rangeland (grazing areas) restoration and governance interventions", says Professor Ingrid Öborn (SLU) who will be leading the research.

The researchers will use mixed methodological approaches for quantitative and qualitative data collection and participatory action research. Experimental research will be carried out on novel land management options for forage, food, nutrition and income, and this will tie to local co-learning hubs. 

Landscape in Africa

Drylands in West Pokot, Kenya. Photo: Malin Planting

The finding will be synthesized together with stakeholders into a set of future scenarios with options for drylands development pathways and explored with policy makers and practitioners at local, regional and global scale.

The project starts in October 2020 and continues throughout September 2024.

For more information, please contact

Professor Ingrid Öborn, Department of Crop Production Ecology, SLU,

SLU researchers in the project:

Aida Bargués Tobella, Department of Forest Ecology and Management
Ewa Wredle, Department of Animal Nutrition and Management
Gert Nyberg, Department of Forest Ecology and Management
Göran Bostedt, Department of Forest Economics

Researchers from other universities/organisations in the project:

Agneta Hörnell - Department of Food, Nutrition and Culinary Science, Umeå University
Alice Turinawe - Department of Agribusiness and Natural Resource Economics, Makerere University, Kampala, Uganda
Barbara Schumann - Department of Epidemiology and Global Health, Umeå University
Denis Mpairwe – Department of Agricultural Production, Makerere University, Kampala, Uganda
Dereje Wakjira – Resilience and Pastoralism, Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), Nairobi, Kenya
Kristina Lindvall – Department of Epidemiology and Global Health, Umeå University
Leigh Winowiecki – Land Health Decisions, World Agroforestry (ICRAF), Nairobi, Kenya
Stephen Mureithi - Department of Land Resource Management and Agricultural Technology (LARMAT), University of Nairobi, Kenya
Per Knutsson - School of Global Studies, Gothenburg University
Tor-Gunnar Vågen – GeoScience lab, World Agroforestry (ICRAF), Nairobi, Kenya