Pastoralism featured in Indigenous Affairs (IWGIA)

by Marianna Wiben Jensen et al

This issue of Indigenous Affairs focuses on the situation of the millions of indigenous peoples who are nomadic pastoralists. Nomadic pastoralists have unique cultures and make unique and productive use of harsh environments. Nomadic pastoralists the world over are, however, the subject of an unusually large number of myths and misconceptions that have led to inadequate, often hostile development policies, entrenched pastoral poverty, discrimination and human rights violations. Pastoralists have much to offer in terms of unique indigenous knowledge, economic contributions, cultural diversity etc., but in order to realize their full potential, misconceptions need to be corrected and supportive policies and programmes put in place.
The importance of pastoralism

Nomadic and transhumant pastoralists may number between 100 – 200 million people globally.1 Pastoralists live in many parts of the world, including Africa, Central Asia, the Arctic and southern Europe. In sub-Saharan Africa alone it is estimated that more than 50 million people live as nomadic pastoralists. Pastoralist cultures and livelihoods – based on livestock such as cattle, goats, sheep, yak, oxen and reindeer – are uniquely adapted to surviving in and making productive use of harsh geographical environments such as semi-arid and arid lands and deserts.

To view the full document, CLICK HERE: Pastoralism IWGIA Document (1346)

Posted on 21 September 2010 in Value of Pastoralism