Broken lands: broken lives? Land fragmentation in the Ethiopian rangelands

Pastoralists in the Horn of Africa are finding it increasingly difficult to deal with drought and to overcome even ‘normal’ dry seasons. Droughts may have increased in incidence and intensity but pastoralists feel they have become more vulnerable mainly because external interventions have reduced their ability to cope with drought. They are losing possibilities for mobility in livestock production. This report for the East African Regional Learning and Advocacy Programme (REGLAP) shows that a key reason for this is the growing fragmentation of the rangeland in Ethiopia, leading to greater restrictions on access to key resources. Especially if pastoralists do not have access to key dry-season grazing areas, they become less resilient to climate change and cannot sustain production on the rest of the rangeland. If this process of fragmentation continues, the entire pastoral system in Ethiopia is in danger of collapsing.

The complete study “Broken lands: Broken lives?” Causes, processes and impacts of land fragmentation in the rangelands of Ethiopia by Fiona Flintan (2011), is downloadable at:

Posted on 29 December 2011 in Pastoralism & Mobility, Pastoralism & Natural Resources