Holistic Management®

Holistic Management is a decision-making framework that ensures our decisions are economically, environmentally and socially sound i.e. the triple bottom line. Holistic Management enables you to develop a clear vision of the future you want.

Holistic Management has its roots in environmental management. But, as it is essentially a decision-making process it is applicable to people in all walks of life - households, both rural and urban based businesses, government and educational organisations. By changing the way we make our decisions, we can tackle many of the problems we face today.


A History of Holistic Management®

Allan Savory, ecologist, biologist, game warden, farmer, soldier, politician, renowned environmentalist and winner of the Banksia International Award 2003, and the 2010 Buckminster Fuller environmental award is the founder of Holistic Management.

As a young graduate employed in various Southern African national parks in the 1960's, Allan realised that the land and wild life he was working with was doomed. Later, when working in the USA he came to realise that this deterioration of the African environment was not a result of the often quoted reasons of overpopulation, poverty, overstocking, lack of technology, poor extension services etc. Comparable deterioration was occurring in Western Texas, USA, where the climate was similar to that of Southern Africa. However, western Texas had a declining population, the latest technology, sophisticated extension services etc. The only common denominator between these two situations was the decisions the human managers of these environments had made.

 “Learning to manage holistically, which is a process of decision-making, I believe should be a life skill practiced by all and taught at schools and understood by law makers. The course has made me optimistic about the future.”

Paddy Reynolds, Bega, NSW


Mankind has been very successful in the area of technology, but, when it comes to making decisions that are environmentally and socially sound, our failures outweigh our successes. Allan noted this. He studied wild animals in different habitats and read the works of Jan Smuts, Andre Voisin and others. Allan realised that hooved animals play a critical role in the health of arid environments. He recognised that nature functions in wholes and that we need to change the way we make decisions. All this led to the development of the Holistic Management decision making framework, as we know it today, which is being used by thousands of families, businesses and other organisations to improve the quality of their lives and to regenerate the resource base that sustains them. This includes conservation projects in the USA, Africa and Australia, where large areas of land are being transformed into sustainable ecosystems.

"Ultimately, the only wealth that can sustain any community, economy or nation is derived from the photosynthetic process - green plants growing on regenerating soil."

Allan Savory


Accolades for Holistic Management®


Allan Savory features in 2015 PBS / National Geographic Documentary - EARTH: A NEW WILD / Plains

"If Allan is right then we may have to completely rethik life on the plains. The message is an extraordinary powerful one and it could be the best thing, the absolute best thing that conservastion has ever discovered." M. Sanjayan, Host, Earth: A New Wild.

 Allan Savory TED talk 2013 receives a standing ovation

In his TED2013 talk, Allan Savory reviews the devastating effects of desertification on the earth and our civilizations and the consistent failure of current approaches to stop desertification. He shows dramatic examples of how livestock are the best (and only) tool that can permanently reverse these processes.

Savory Institute a finalist in the Virgin Earth Challenge

The Virgin Earth Challenge is a competition offering a $25 million prize for whoever can demonstrate a commercially viable design which results in the permanent removal of greenhouse gases from the Earth’s atmosphere.

Among more than 2600 applications, 11 finalists were announced on November 2, 2011. These included The Savory Institute


2010 Buckminster Fuller Award

The AFRICA CENTRE FOR HOLISTIC MANAGEMENT and ALLAN SAVORY have won the 2010 Buckminster Fuller award for the proposal with the most significant potential to solve humanity's most pressing problems. Follow the links to read articles on this prestigious award.


2009 Manchester Report

Holistic Management was voted the second best idea to tackle climate change in the 2009 Manchester report.



Holistic Management® Links

 Holistic Management® is a registered trademark of Holistic Management International and has been used by permission.


“Holistic Management has given us a feeling of control over our enterprise and future. It has made us aware of how much effect we can have on the environment be it good or bad.”

Stuart & Angela Shannon, Bonshaw, NSW



"Traditionally, livestock is kept in paddocks for weeks or months. They nibble away at the most nutritious plants, giving the noxious weeds an advantage, destroying biodiversity and profitability.

A new approach, holistic management, reverses this. The herds are moved from one small cell to another, as often as every day. The livestock eat everything in a cell, but over the following months the pasture is rested and the grass grows back luxuriant and sweet. Cattle are better fed, less worried by parasites (because the moving disrupts the parasite cycle), calmer and seemingly happier (perhaps because the animals live in a more natural herd structure).

Farmers are happier, too, because their workload is more evenly spread and their businesses are more profitable".

Tim Flannery, 2007 Australian of the Year


"The technology we wield today has greatly expanded the ways in which we can alter our environment and that, combined with the exponential increase in our numbers, has magnified our potential for causing damage. Now, more than ever, we require the ability to make decisions that consider economic, social and environmental realities, both short and long term."

Allan Savory

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View Allan Savory videos.

Watch or read Allan Savory on ABC's Landline program July 2011.