Making African pastoralism more resilient to climate change

WISP (World Initiative for Sustainable Pastoralism) made a scoping study Building climate-change resilience for livestock in sub-Saharan Africa to identify entry points for building the resilience of livestock systems to climate change and variability. It included two subregional reviews (in eastern & southern Africa, and in West & Central Africa), six country visits (in Kenya, Namibia, Malawi, Cameroon, Niger and Mali) and an e-conference. Among the three categories of livestock systems covered were range-based livestock systems: pastoralism and ranching (including game ranching). It was found that the policy and legal environment is generally not conducive to adaptation by livestock-keepers. Pastoralists need secure land-use rights, strong and equitable local institutions and functioning legal systems. Significant attention is needed to strengthen policy implementation with respect to markets, local organisations, natural resource governance and tenure, women’s rights and the regulation and protection of transhumance routes. Although the African livestock sector does not contribute significantly to global climate change, there are options for mitigation of climate change that may offer incentives for improved livestock production. These include a range of methods for improving carbon capture by rangelands and complementary activities such as silvopastoralism.

Posted on 8 July 2012 in News, Pastoralism & Climate Change