20-24 November 2017. Dakar. Pastoralism in the current global changes: stakes, challenges and prospects. Institutional and agro-ecological changes such as population growth, climate change, globalization of markets, changes in demand for animal products, decentralization of governance, as well as security issues, are disrupting the frameworks traditionally operated by pastoral societies.

This Colloquium focused on sharing on:

  • the current pastoral dynamics and prospects in sub-Saharan Africa;
  • the state of knowledge, knowledge, shared representations on pastoralism in the face of socio-economic, ecological and climatic issues;
  • the existing and future methods and tools for improving the support and management of pastoral systems;
  • the current arrangements and needs for knowledge transfer in pastoralism.

The P2CG symposium “Pastoralism in the course of global change” aimed to:

  1. Situate the major mutations faced by livestock, breeders and systems, in the plurality of perceptions of operational, institutional or scientific actors
  2. Clarify the challenges, obstacles and opportunities that pastoralism encounters,
  3. Assess the stakes for the future in terms of:

  • contribution to the economy and food in the emergence of concerns such as agro-ecology, globalisation, poverty alleviation and security;
  • adaptation to climate change and mitigation of climate effects;
  • resilience to vulnerability, poverty and risk
  • technical and organisational innovations;
  • ecosystemic contribution to the production of services;
  • support by public policies,

The colloquium explored jointly the alternatives around which breeders, research, public organizations and policy makers could guide their future actions.

Extracts of the programme:
TOPIC 1 Adapting guidelines in the use of resources by the animals: improving performances, preserving balances?
Biophysical strengths and constraints, herd resources and productivity in pastoral systems, how to

articulate pastoral practices and the multiple functionalities of the animal to the changes under way?
TOPIC 2 The Climate Change and the Environment in pastoralism
While pastoral societies are historically adapted to climate variability they face new challenges. The characteristics of pastoralism in sub-arid zones, namely the intensity of interactions between people, animals and the environment, allowing pastors to make the most of heterogeneous and variable resources, are challenged by constraints of several types, and in particular by the medium-term climatic changes.

TOPIC 3 Land dynamics and access to pastoral resources
Land issues are attracting greater attention from national policies and regional intervention programs in rural development, driven by demographic pressure, rural intensification, agricultural extensification, recognition of cross-border mobility, Agro-industrial investments. It was therefore important to open the debate on the scientific and political stakes of the interactions between these trends, these agendas, and the pastoralism.
TOPIC 4 Social Issues for Pastoralism
What are the social dimensions of the access to social services, human health, education, youth, citizenship, security, and modernization?

Development in pastoral areas has too often lagged behind that of other areas, thus maintaining poverty and vulnerability that undermine the sustainability of the system. Inadequate development policies have often weakened traditional land tenure and natural resource governance systems; They have restricted the mobility of herds which conditions the functioning of the system, while continuing to deprive breeders of basic services needed for development, such as education, safety and health.
TOPIC 5 Ecosystemic contributions of pastoralism
There is a growing interest in the multifunctionality of pastoralism, which is capable of providing ecosystem services that go far beyond the sole productivity of livestock.
Pastoralism offers a wide range of economic valuations in areas with low overall biomass productivity and that are poorly adapted to intensive livestock management systems. Quite unique in its features, it is adapted to use the great diversity and unpredictability of the grasslands resources with the greatest efficiency
.

Background:

The Pastoralism and Drylands Partnership Platform PPZS is a joint R&D initiative associating researchers and teachers from the Senegalese Institute of Agricultural Research (ISRA), of the University Cheikh Anta Diop (UCAD), the Ecological Monitoring Centre (CSE), and the Centre for International Cooperation in Agricultural Research for Development (CIRAD).

This post was originally published at PAEPARD and has been republished with permission.

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