As victims of recurrent droughts, large-scale international food-aid continues to be a necessary response for many pastoralists, which has led to much discussion on whether pastoralism is a viable and sustainable livelihood. But the issue is not only the frequency and severity of drought, it is the social, economic and policy trends that make pastoralists more vulnerable. These include growing populations, encroachment on grazing land, armed conflict, failure to recognise collective forms of natural resource management, underdevelopment of markets and political marginalisation.
There are a number of practical approaches that can be adopted to reduce the impacts of drought, and to smooth the transition back from relief to development. Improved risk reduction and relief-development linkages must be part of the solution.
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.