The persistence of poverty, environmental degradation and conflict in many pastoral areas is largely a direct result of inappropriate policy and development interventions. Enduring perceptions of pastoralism as an economically inefficient and environmentally destructive land use system continue to drive rangeland and livestock policy. Yet none of these policies is evidence-based, nor are they developed with the participation of pastoral communities.
Governments' poor understanding of pastoralism, combined with the inability of pastoral groups to influence policy and hold government to account, is perpetuating a vicious circle of pastoral poverty and conflict, reinforcing the preconceptions that pastoralism has no future and has to be modernised or replaced. Building the capacities of both pastoral communities and their advocates to challenge these perceptions and participate more effectively in political decision-making is thus critical for future development and peace in the drylands.
This briefing was based on a series of 8 Pastoralism Information Notes produced under the overall supervision of John Morton of the Natural Resources Institute, University of Greenwich. Each briefing presents the context, policy implications, ways forward and evidence of change.
WRENmedia, Eye, UK, 2 pp.