Theme 7: Capacity--Oral Sessions

Description

Morocco’s drylands cover over 90% of the land area; low and irregular rainfall and high potential evaporation contribute to extremely high-water deficits. These phenomena have greatly impacted rangeland hydrology and nomadic and transhumant pastoralism. To adapt to this predominant water deficit, the inhabitants of these areas have developed two forms of lifestyles, which include household and livestock mobility: (i) a pendulum movement for seasonal transhumance between the mountains and their bordering plains; and (ii) random nomadic mobility regulated by the sporadic frequency of rains and thus water availability. In both cases, this mobility is controlled by the degree of development of the routes, but it derives also from participatory governance of water access to livestock. For example, pastoral communities first use routes with ephemeral waters, while saving perennial or semi-perennial water sources for long lasting drought periods. To mitigate water scarcity, nomads and transhumants often reduce herd size, and switch temporarily to complementary activities such as trade, crafts, wage labor, and engagement in public services. The conservative practices of rangeland and water management have progressively declined following regional and global trends of sedentarism, urban extension, and the emergence of new activities such as intensive irrigation, industry, and tourism. Faced with this situation, various development organizations aim for the recovery of local traditional conservation and participatory water management practices. Rainwater harvesting as well as hydraulic facilities, storage and tank services for isolated populations are being implemented at several points along nomadic routes. Besides, new schooling opportunities have opened employment options and additional income from farming activities. In this context, transdisciplinary monitoring of rangeland development through remote sensing in addition to biophysical and socio-economic indicators have been installed. In this work, we present an integrated analysis of hydrological management systems of Moroccan drylands in relation to pastoral adaptation to climate change.

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Participatory Management of Rangeland Hydrology – A New Socio-Ecological Technology to Effectively Adapt to and Mitigate Climate Change: Case from Morocco

Morocco’s drylands cover over 90% of the land area; low and irregular rainfall and high potential evaporation contribute to extremely high-water deficits. These phenomena have greatly impacted rangeland hydrology and nomadic and transhumant pastoralism. To adapt to this predominant water deficit, the inhabitants of these areas have developed two forms of lifestyles, which include household and livestock mobility: (i) a pendulum movement for seasonal transhumance between the mountains and their bordering plains; and (ii) random nomadic mobility regulated by the sporadic frequency of rains and thus water availability. In both cases, this mobility is controlled by the degree of development of the routes, but it derives also from participatory governance of water access to livestock. For example, pastoral communities first use routes with ephemeral waters, while saving perennial or semi-perennial water sources for long lasting drought periods. To mitigate water scarcity, nomads and transhumants often reduce herd size, and switch temporarily to complementary activities such as trade, crafts, wage labor, and engagement in public services. The conservative practices of rangeland and water management have progressively declined following regional and global trends of sedentarism, urban extension, and the emergence of new activities such as intensive irrigation, industry, and tourism. Faced with this situation, various development organizations aim for the recovery of local traditional conservation and participatory water management practices. Rainwater harvesting as well as hydraulic facilities, storage and tank services for isolated populations are being implemented at several points along nomadic routes. Besides, new schooling opportunities have opened employment options and additional income from farming activities. In this context, transdisciplinary monitoring of rangeland development through remote sensing in addition to biophysical and socio-economic indicators have been installed. In this work, we present an integrated analysis of hydrological management systems of Moroccan drylands in relation to pastoral adaptation to climate change.