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Pastoralism and climate change: Exposures, vulnerabilities and possible adaptations Andrei Marin Noragric.

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Presentation on theme: "Pastoralism and climate change: Exposures, vulnerabilities and possible adaptations Andrei Marin Noragric."— Presentation transcript:

1 Pastoralism and climate change: Exposures, vulnerabilities and possible adaptations Andrei Marin Noragric

2 Precipitation and temperature changes in 20th century compared to pre-industrial (solid line is 0.1 mm/day, red =increase, blue = decrease)

3 More, or less rain? Present developments (e.g. the ’greening’ of the Sahel) seem to contradict the trend (Ethiopia, Mali experience increased mean rainfall in 1990s and 200s) The IPCC predicts an increase in areas affected by drought and in the frequency and severity of extreme events (IPCC 2007) Yet, regional and national models and predictions are highly variable and uncertain For Sahel, Greater Horn projections vary from significant decrease to significant increase.

4 For Mongolia: an increase in precipitation of up to 220% by 2040 and 240% by 2070, other models predict a slight decrease, or virtually constant levels.

5 Other changes in precipitation patterns may be more significant (e.g. first rains, length of rainy season, intensity, spatial scale) ”All I know is that the rains are changing- it is becoming less and it is falling at the wrong time” (Ethiopia, 2009) ”The rain is strange now. After 2000 it started raining over smaller and smaller areas. During the last 4-5 years it’s been raining later and later” (Mongolia 2007) ”The rains come late and the animals don’t get enough to eat” (Mali 2009)

6 Degradation and sand storms: ”The tamarind and the shea tree are gone. It is why there is more and more dust, because the soil is not protected anymore and it becomes hotter than before” (Mali, 2009) ” From March we had sand storms every day for 3 months. It’s much more sand storm now than before.” (Mongolia, 2006) 2000 km APRIL 24th 2009

7 Impacts of these changes Often devastating, especially for poorer, more marginal Although rich herders can also become destitute, commonly poorer are more vulnerable Disasters occur when natural calamities hit already vulnerable people

8 How do pastoralists deal with these changes? In theory 2 types of adaptations: buffering and tracking A.Buffering: deal with unpredictability by diversifying sources of income (trade, agriculture, wage labour). More recently- also government interventions for buffering: insurance schemes, livestock banks, stable marketing schemes

9 B. Tracking: adjust to environmental variability by: adjusting the number of livestock (pre-emptively or reactively) or moving livestock to where resources are located. The strategies assume the possibility to restock when ’danger’ has passed or the possibility to find suitable, accessible pastures elsewhere.

10 Adaptations in practice Constrained by additional stressors: lack of political will, funds, conflicts, encroachment from other land uses) A.Buffering: trading limited by access to markets (often in the capital city, controlled by middlemen, trade agreements). Exports may be a solution (are the Horn’s exports to the middle East- a model?) Diversifying livelihoods may be beneficial, but should not be treated as a guarantee. Involvement in other livelihoods may mean neglecting the herd, less workpower when badly needed. Insurance schemes against climate disasters are now being introduced (based on satellite images, meteo data- e.g. Kenya). Question is who affords them? Who benefits? Livestock banks and guaranteed/subsidised purchases by the state require a level of involvement often lacking

11 Adaptations in practice- contd. B: Tracking: destocking involves possibility of swift restocking, either from state livestock banks or from social networks. Some traditional institutions (reciprocity, mutual help) ensure redistribution of animals, but this becomes difficult when everybody is affected. State livestock banks require state intervention. Evidence of commitment? Mobility: the tried and tested strategy. Yet curtailed and discouraged by many circumstances (additional stressors): encroachment, conflict with neighbouring groups, expenses with movements, services (school, health) lacking outside settlements.

12 Adaptations in practice: What works, what could work? What works: Mobility: by and large, the most successful. Relies on political and social capital. Needs nurturing. Help from state- or at least not discouragement. Redistribution: informal mutual help. But what happens when everybody loses animals? Repeatedly? What could work: More state involvement - trade agreements - conflict mediation - mobility agreements (neighbouring countries) - fodder reserves - access to credit A long term policy that recognises pastoralism as a strategic industry in drylands (for food security and poverty reduction).

13 Thank you!


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