Climate Change, Risk Management and the End of Nomadic Pastoralism


While not a particularly good quality map, it at least show the area my latest publication pertains to (Aru Basin). It is published in the journal International Journal of Sustainable Development & World Ecology.

The topic of the paper is mobility, a classic pastoral stagey for dealing with environmental variation. Mobility is used to manage resource variability, for example, during droughts where pastoralist have moved from affected areas to unaffected (or less affected) areas.

Mobility is, however, threatened by land tenure changes that limit movement of people and livestock, e.g. privatisation of common grazing areas. While the underlying rationale is often noble, i.e. to reduce environmental degradation (e.g. overgrazing) and develop pastoral communities, the result is often negative and in some cases exacerbate the problem it was meant to solve, e.g. increasing overgrazing because of reduced mobility.

Considering the fact that scenarios for future climate change generally predict an increased average, variance and even a changed distribution of important climatic variables like precipitation and temperature, policies limiting pastoral mobility may severely reduce their opportunities for dealing with the changes. More to the point, policies reducing mobility may very well exacerbate the negative impacts of climate change.

The full paper can be accessed at: 712


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