Theme 6: Pastoralism--Oral Sessions

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Drawing on the findings of a two-country case study, this paper examines the discourses and narratives found in contemporary climate change and national development policy in Ethiopia and Kenya, the actors shaping those policy narratives, and in turn, their consequences for pastoralism. The research reveals that while concerns around climate change and calls for strengthening resilience of dryland communities have given a new impetus to pastoral development, old arguments and assumptions that depict pastoral areas, and pastoralists, as unproductive and in need of modernisation remain deeply embedded in policy making. These open up spaces for the state, investors, and local elites to extend control over natural resources previously managed under customary institutions. The resultant climate policy solutions and dryland investments are, in turn, leading to new patterns of social differentiation and vulnerability among pastoralists. Clearer overarching national land-use policies that integrate principles of ‘pastoral area governance’, and that put measures in place to prevent the further loss of key pastoral resources would make a difference in terms of enhancing pastoralists’ rights and livelihoods.

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Climate Change Policy Narratives and Pastoralist Predicaments in the Horn of Africa: Insights from Ethiopia and Kenya

Drawing on the findings of a two-country case study, this paper examines the discourses and narratives found in contemporary climate change and national development policy in Ethiopia and Kenya, the actors shaping those policy narratives, and in turn, their consequences for pastoralism. The research reveals that while concerns around climate change and calls for strengthening resilience of dryland communities have given a new impetus to pastoral development, old arguments and assumptions that depict pastoral areas, and pastoralists, as unproductive and in need of modernisation remain deeply embedded in policy making. These open up spaces for the state, investors, and local elites to extend control over natural resources previously managed under customary institutions. The resultant climate policy solutions and dryland investments are, in turn, leading to new patterns of social differentiation and vulnerability among pastoralists. Clearer overarching national land-use policies that integrate principles of ‘pastoral area governance’, and that put measures in place to prevent the further loss of key pastoral resources would make a difference in terms of enhancing pastoralists’ rights and livelihoods.