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Information for G02497

Pastoralism and climate change: enabling adaptive capacity

This publication forms one of a series of six reports prepared
under the ECHO-funded project on ‘Reducing the vulnerability of pastoral communities through policy and practice change in the Horn and East Africa’. The aim of the project is to raise awareness among planners and policymakers about the full potential of pastoral systems to make a significant contribution to the economies of the region. Each of the six reports presents evidence-based research findings to overcome misconceptions and misunderstandings regarding particular aspects of pastoral livelihoods, and highlights appropriate policy recommendations that favour pastoralist systems. The reports present evidence to help inform thinking in order that policymakers can keep abreast of new opportunities and threats in the rangelands.

The overall message that emerges from this publication series is that pastoralists must be supported not only to maintain the
extraordinary resilience inherent in their traditional way of life,
but also to adapt and – for some – to create viable alternative
livelihoods in and beyond the ASALs. Concerns over population growth, climate change, conflict and declining productivity of the natural resource base present very real challenges for pastoralists in the Horn of Africa. Without significant support, levels of poverty, vulnerability and destitution will rise due to the effects of marginalisation, recurrent drought and floods, conflict and livestock epidemics. Market development can help to realise the economic potential of livestock and livestock products, such that mobile pastoral systems of production and management remain a viable option for some pastoralists. For others, support is needed to allow for the adoption of alternative and diversified livelihood options. The evidence presented by the current series encompasses broad views that relate to the future
viability of pastoralism, providing guidance in identifying appropriate practical and policy interventions in the arid and
semi-arid lands of the Horn of Africa.

Publication information

  • IIED code: G02497
  • Published: Apr 2009 - ODI
  • Theme: Climate change
  • Language: English

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