Reframing the pastoral narrative: Ancient mobile herding strategies to make a comeback in a hotter world

argylesock says… Here are good words about pastoralism. Now is a time when people’s ancient, well tried methods continue to get food from deserts and drylands. It’s also a time when huge swathes of desert and dryland are stereotyped as ‘unproductive’. Land grabs are threatened, with plans in some places to irrigate and hope that dryland will turn into something it’s not made to be. People need to think differently about the old ways.

You might like also to look at this Canadian voice with an Ethiopian focus, from Allana Potash Blog.

ILRI Clippings

Fulani boy in Niger herds his family's animals

Fulani boy in Niger herds his family’s animals (photo credit: ILRI/Stevie Mann).

Mobility to unlock scattered food, feed, water and other scarce and scattered essential resources is a human strategy as old as humankind itself—and one that remains key for pastoral livestock herders the world over. As the world warms and its natural resources become ever scarcer, it would profit all of us to take a long hard look at how livestock herders track those resources over time and space, and how their movement and that of their animal herds helps them stay resilient in the face of some of the earth’s most unforgiving, and now increasingly unpredictable and extreme, climates.

It appears the rest of us are going to need to adopt strategies for resilience sooner rather than later. Last Thursday, reports Polly Ericksen, scientist at the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI), was a red letter day. On that day, 9 May 2013, the…

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About argylesock

I wrote a PhD about veterinary parasitology so that's the starting point for this blog. But I'm now branching out into other areas of biology and into popular science writing. I'll write here about science that happens in landscapes, particularly farmland, and about science involving interspecific interactions. Datasets and statistics get my attention. Exactly where this blog will lead? That's a journey that I'm on and I hope you'll come with me.
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2 Responses to Reframing the pastoral narrative: Ancient mobile herding strategies to make a comeback in a hotter world

  1. dianabuja says:

    I am so pleased to see ILRI and other members of the CG system turning attention to traditional and indigenous crop-livestock systems. Not because they are ‘traditional’ – but because they do have staying value and have been neglected in research and development for decades. That does not mean ‘preserving’ them, but learning more about their dynamics and manners of transformation both over time and in relation to different stressors.

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