Pastoralist livestock mobility in Sudan
The research report Pastoralism in practice: monitoring livestock mobility in contemporary Sudan highlights the importance of pastoralist livestock mobility for the resilience of pastoralist livelihood systems and for maximising productivity. Herds of camels, sheep and cattle were followed for up to five months in Darfur and Kordofan Regions of Sudan. Using GPS tracking, the study recorded in detail the herd movements and management strategies in response to environmental parameters (the advancing rains and greening up of the vegetation). It highlights various modernising trends and livelihood adaptations, including diversified investment strategies, herder responses to inter-tribal conflict in East Darfur and strategies to avoid conflict. Local case studies present new evidence of a distinctive pastoralist approach to natural resource management that regulates access to natural resources rather than seeking to control the numbers of animals.
Recent peace agreements and the links between land, power and tribal allegiances are reviewed, capturing different perspectives on pastoralism. Key issues are raised and recommendations made for consideration by the government, humanitarian aid and development practitioners.
A four-page policy brief, based on the research report findings, points to the strategic importance of livestock mobility for production, and outlines ways in which pastoralism can be supported to benefit livelihoods, the environment, peace and stability, and the economy of Sudan.