What roles can pastoralists play in responding to climate change?

PASTRES team members have been on the ground at COP26 this week. Our principal investigator Ian Scoones, and photographer & videographer Roopa Gogineni have been in Glasgow for an exhibition, talks and much more.

Here are some highlights from the past week of our engagements with the debates around COP26.

Exhibition: Seeing Pastoralism

From 3-12 November our exhibition is available to view at Civic House, 26 Civic Street, Glasgow G4 9RH, between 9am and 5pm. The exhibition explores how pastoralists from three continents are responding to the uncertainties and challenges linked to climate change. Information from our report on livestock and the climate is also on display. The exhibition, co-organised by the World Association of Mobile Indigenous Peoples (WAMIP), is free and open to all.

On 3 November, a launch event brought together pastoral leaders in discussion with PASTRES Principal Investigator Ian Scoones.

Click here to find out more.

Sheep for the Climate

On Friday 5 November a global delegation of nomadic pastoralists, a group of Scottish sheep farmers and some rare breed sheep gathered on Govan Dock for talks and a solidarity meal. The event was organised by WAMIP, the Rare Breeds Survival Trust, the Rangelands Initiative, WhyHunger and PASTRES.

We need to talk about methane

The Global Methane Pledge was announced on Tuesday, with more than 100 countries signing up. On our blog, Ian Scoones sums up the tricky debates about livestock’s role in methane emissions. There is an urgent need for action on fossil fuel drilling and processing, but livestock has a role to play too. However, the emissions from extensive pastoralism have sometimes been over-estimated.

You can read the full blog post here.

Cows and cars are not the same

In a comment piece for The Conversation Africa, Ian Scoones warns against conflating emissions from livestock and cars, and calls for a more just, holistic approach to climate action in the livestock sector, building on our report ‘Are livestock always bad for the planet?’

You can read the piece here.

An article by Busani Bafana in the online publication In Depth News also covers the issue, in a Q&A with Ian Scoones about the report.

You can read the Q&A here.

Event: Territorial changes and livelihood transformations – 25-26 November 2021

On 25-26 November the European University Institute will host a hybrid online/in-person workshop on Territorial changes and livelihood transformations: Agro-pastoral communities living with uncertainties in dryland settings.

The workshop will investigate how climate and environmental changes intersect with other key processes and dynamics in the reshaping of rural livelihoods. It will specifically look at drylands where climate variability and volatility are the norm – rather than the exception.

The event includes contributions by PASTRES members Michele Nori, Matteo Caravani, Greta Semplici, Ian Scoones, Antonello Franca and Natasha Maru. Participants can register online to attend.

Register for the event here.

More on climate and biodiversity

Report: Are livestock always bad for the planet?

Read our recent report and briefings on the debates on livestock and climate change, with recommendations on involving pastoralists more centrally in climate action. Video of our launch event is also available.

Find out more here.

Climate and biodiversity: explore the debates

Read our series of commentaries, published throughout 2021, exploring different aspects of the debates on climate, biodiversity and the role of pastoralists.

Click here for a full overview of the series.

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