Pastoralism in Africa's drylands: reducing risks, addressing vulnerability and enhancing resilience.

Published online
27 Feb 2019
Published by
Food and Agriculture Organization
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Osman, A. M. K. & Olesambu, E. & Balfroid, C.

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The paper analyses factors that undermine the pastoral livelihoods resilience and the implications of these factors for the viability of pastoralism. These factors include: * neglect and exclusion of pastoralists * violence, displacement and militarisation of pastoral livelihood systems * insecure land rights and natural resource management * diminishing forage base and increasing trend toward nutritional vulnerability * increasing risk of animal and zoonotic diseases * climate variability and climate change On the basis of the analysis of the uncertainty and insecurity contexts that shape pastoralism and the vulnerability of pastoralists' communities, this paper identifies interventions for increasing pastoral resilience. These interventions are categorised in the following priority areas: * improving capacity, accountability and responsiveness in governance institutions * addressing the cross-border and regional dimension of pastoralism * developing and using a livelihoods-based information and monitoring system * ensuring stronger linkages between local and higher-level peace initiatives * reducing vulnerability by supporting livelihoods resilience programming * ensuring a timely livelihoods-based livestock emergency response when a crisis threatens Despite their weakening capacity, pastoral communities remain highly resilient and make enormous contributions to social, environmental and economic wellbeing in the dryland areas. Strengthening pastoralism's capacity to operate in more sustainable pathways requires a more in-depth understanding of the dynamics of the socioecological challenges and opportunities in the different regions of Africa's drylands. It also requires long-term engagement and broad partnership among the diverse actors involved at the local, regional and international levels.

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