News from PASTRES: July 2021

2021 has been a busy year for PASTRES, now in our fourth year. Our blog has focused on a variety of themes over the past 7 months.

Livestock production and environmental change

Several of our PASTRES blogs have explored the relationship between livestock production and environmental change:

Climate, biodiversity and livestock: big debates for 2021

Climate change and livestock in the UK: the politics of policy processes

“How much is my farm worth…. from an environmental point of view?” Reflections from Sardinia

Pastoralists are experts in dealing with climate variability – but they need enabling policies too

Resilience in action on the drylands of Turkana

Beyond the ‘Balance of Nature’: Pastoralists’ Alternative Perspectives on Sustainability

Greening cities: the role of urban pastoralism in Romania

Later in 2021 we will jointly launch a major report on livestock and climate change, alongside a number of other research organisations, NGO’s and social movements groups working with pastoralists.

PASTRES PI Ian Scoones offered up some of the findings during a webinar on pastoralism and climate, with a focus on West Africa.

Earlier this year, Natasha Maru (PASTRES PhD researcher) and Ced Hesse (IIED) debated climate change and pastoralism. The webinar was part of a series organised by the Centre for Pastoralism, Kalpavrish and Indian Commoner. Natasha also produced a blog on the issue:

Pastoralists are experts in dealing with climate variability – but they need enabling policies too

Pastoralism and biodiversity: more controversies:

Another focus of our blog this year has been the link between pastoralism and biodiversity, with a view to counter the claim that livestock production destroys the environment and causes desertification:

Sahel’s ‘Great Green Wall’

Michele Nori and Duccio Berzi ask how pastoralists can be supported

Pastoralists’ animal breeding practices enhance biodiversity

External to our blog, Ian Scoones produced a short essay responding to David Attenboroughs Netflix film, as pat of a special section for Nomadic Peoples.

oxen-drawn-ploughs-a-critical-part-of-farming-systems
Photo Credit: Camila Toulmin

Pastoralism and Uncertainty

Pastoralists response to diverse forms of uncertainty is the central question of the PASTRES programme, and is what is being explored and understood from all six of our field sites. Michele Nori explored this in a working paper which reflected on cases from the three continents where our field sites are located.

We also included a blog post and Instagram series on the issue of herding through uncertainties.

Another external piece produced by the PASTRES programme was Ian Scoones article for Aeon magazine looking at What can bankers (and others) learn from pastoralists?The article explored what lessons pastoralists can offer on responding to uncertainty to other areas of society who are experiencing increased uncertainty.

It is impossible to ignore the COVID-19 pandemic and how this interacts with pastoralism and uncertainty. PASTRES researchers were involved in numerous pieces of work on this issue, including:

Rethinking disease preparedness: incertitude and the politics of knowledge
Melissa Leach, Hayley MacGregor, Santiago Ripoll, Ian Scoones and Annie Wilkinson, Critical Public Health (2021)

How Kachchh’s Nomadic Pastoralists Are Dealing With COVID-19’s Challenges (The Wire)

COVID-19 and pastoralism: reflections from three continents

Pastoralists and agrarian change

Debates about ‘peasants’ and ‘pastoralists’ have often gone on in parallel, but a paper in the Journal of Peasant Studies by Ian Scoones argues that they must be brought together, encouraging learning from each other in order to generate new forms of solidarity and mobilisation. This was theme of a very well-attended webinar, the first in the series, Agrarian Conversations, co-hosted by PASTRES.

Other publications from the PASTRES team

Outside of these areas, our team has also been busy producing publications on a variety of issues related to Pastoralism:

Enclaved or enmeshed? Local governance of oil finds in Turkana, Kenya by Jeremy Lind, Geoforum (2021)

Integrating immigrant workforce in European pastoralism by Michele Nori, Italian Journal of Agricultural Economics, 4: 49-58 (2021)

Mitigating the impacts of fragmented land tenure through community-based institutional innovations: two case study villages from Guinan County of Qinghai Province, China
Gongbuzeren, J. Zhang, M. Zhuang, J. Zhang, and L. Huntsinger, in Ecology and Society 26(2):15 (2021)

The Role of Community Cooperative Institutions in Building Rural–Urban Linkages under Urbanization of Pastoral Regions in China
Gongbuzeren, Wenjun L and Yupei L, Front. Sustain. Food Syst. 5:612207 (2021), 

Comment on article by Schareika et al. on Critical Transitions from Pastoralism to Ranching in Central Africa
Ian Scoones, Current Anthropology (2021)

Addressing the Covid-19 Pandemic: Chronicles from the Pastures
Domenica Farinella and Giulia Simula, Fuori Luogo. Rivista Di Sociologia Del Territorio, Turismo, Tecnologia (2021)

A Relational View of Pastoral (im)mobilities
Maru N., Nomadic Peoples (2020)

Snapshots of pastoralism

Follow us on Instagram to see regular snapshots of pastoralism, with stories provided by our research team around the world, reflecting on the changing rhythms and uncertainties of pastoral life.

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