CELEP at IRC2016: Pastoralists in a high-tech world
In July 2016, the 10th International Rangeland Congress (IRC) was held in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, in the Canadian prairies and was attended by several CELEP members. The IRC2016 theme was “The Future Management of Grazing and Wild Lands in a High-Tech World”.
A keynote presentation was made on behalf of CELEP “Pastoralists in the 21st century: lo-tech meets hi-tech” in the plenary session on “The People of the Grasslands”. This looked at how high-tech has impacted on pastoralism, especially in Africa and Central Asia, and how pastoralists have embraced high-tech, often spontaneously. Examples include the combination of mobile phones + mobile phones + mobile energy in Kenya and Mongolia. The PPT presentation can be found here and the full paper for the proceedings can be found here.
A presentation on “Promoting resilience by influencing water infrastructure development in community managed rangelands of Northern Kenya” was made by IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) in the parallel session on “Water supply and quality” under the subtheme “Rangeland Goods and Services”. This highlighted the challenges, key issues and achievements of IUCN-supported work with pastoralist communities in Isiolo and Garissa Counties.
In the parallel session on “Invasive species impacts and management” under the subtheme “Multiple use of Rangelands”, the Agricultural Sector Development Support Programme of the Kenyan Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock & Fisheries made a presentation on “Maasai pastoralists’ livelihoods threatened: the case of Pastoralist Field Schools in controlling Ipomoea spp in Kajiado County, Kenya”. This looked at how mixed-gender pastoral groups are experimenting with ways of dealing with an invasive weed in their rangelands.
A poster on “The contribution of rangelands to the economy of Uganda”, submitted by the CELEP partner organisation COPASCO (Coalition of Pastoralist Civil Society Organisations), was presented at the workshop “Multifunctionality of pastoralism” that was held immediately before the IRC. It documents the multiple functions of the rangelands in order to raise interest of policy- and law-makers to appreciate the benefits arising from these areas and to invest proportionately in the people living there.