Rapid and participatory ways of assessing soil erosion and its impact are needed in order better to represent the perspective of land users and how they make decisions on investing in conservation. The chapter reports on the 'Handbook for the Field Assessment of Land Degradation', which promotes a farmer-perspective approach that is realistic, better integrated, and more practical than standard assessments. Indicators are used that capture the time-scales of significance to farmers, that focus on their concerns, and are relatively simple to operate. The example of 'armour layers', the residue of stones left behind after sheet-wash, is described. These types of assessment provide more policy-relevant experiences of soil erosion and its impact, leading to a better future for the sustainability of land resources.
Stocking, M. 2005. Field assessment of erosion and soil productivity from the perspective of the land user. pp 149-158 (Chapter 11) in Stocking, M., Helleman, H. and White, R (eds) Renewable natural resources management for mountain communities. Kathmandu, Nepal: ICMOD