News from PASTRES: December 2021

Seeing Pastoralism: Launching our new virtual exhibition

Our visual exploration of pastoralists’ responses to uncertainty around the world has been launched as an online exhibition. Through stories, images and field recordings, Seeing Pastoralism explores how pastoralists understand, experience and respond to uncertainty.

The stories are drawn from the six research sites of the PASTRES project. All six locations differ in many ways, but all show how pastoralists live and work in often variable and uncertain conditions.

Responses to the exhibition

At the show in Sardinia, pastoralists explored the exhibits and discussed them with the PASTRES team. Watch our short video to hear their reflections.

Showing the exhibition

Photos and other material from the project have been shared by our PhD researchers with participants in the case study sites, and have been exhibited during the COP26 conference in Glasgow. After its premiere in Sardinia, the live exhibition has also travelled to Brighton and Florence, with further shows planned in Brussels, Nairobi and Rome.

“Photovoice is to make your photos talk”

(Aop, Golok, Amdo Tibet)

Pastoralists in all our research sites have taken their own photos exploring what uncertainty means for them. These photovoice experiments have developed narratives around a selection of photos, curated by different groups.

Pastoralism and climate change: rethinking the debate

A central theme of this year’s work has been exploring the connections between pastoralism and climate change. Together with 13 other organisations, PASTRES launched a major report, Are livestock always bad for the planet? Rethinking the global food and climate debate. Launched in September in Sardinia, the report has since been presented in various venues including at COP26 in Glasgow.

The report comes together with a series of information sheets and briefings that have been translated into multiple languages.


In alliance with the World Alliance for Mobile Indigenous Peoples and Pastoralists (WAMIP), PASTRES was at the COP26 climate conference in Glasgow. We engaged in discussions on the role of livestock in changing food systems, as well as the contentious issue of reducing methane emissions.

Read our reflections from COP26:

Pedagogies and resistance

A training programme for pastoral youth, developed by the NGO Sahjeevan, supports ongoing resistance against resource appropriation, and serves as a form of resistance itself. The programme is discussed in a new article by PASTRES PhD researcher Natasha Maru in the journal Commodity Frontiers.

Debating pastoralism at the European University Institute

The PASTRES team based at the European University Institute (EUI) hosted two hybrid workshops in Florence, Italy in November. The first focused on the future of pastoralism around themes of markets, mobility and land use. The second had a regional focus on the Sahel and the Horn of Africa, and discussed issues of security.

Uncertainty and development

Ian Scoones gave one of the Sussex Development Lectures in October, drawing on PASTRES work, and arguing that taking uncertainty seriously means rethinking development.

Migration and pastoralism in Europe

Domenica Farinella and Michele Nori have been researching how human and natural landscapes are being reshaped in the European agrarian world, particularly in Mediterranean Europe. In a webinar in October, organised by the Institute for Minority Rights, they discussed the role of immigration to marginal rural settings, where local populations have been ageing and declining.

Publications from PASTRES

Livestock and Climate Justice: Challenging Mainstream Policy Narratives
by García-Dory F., Houzer, E. and Scoones, I. Article in IDS Bulletin:  Reframing Climate and Environmental Justice’

Living in an Era of Emerging Pandemics
Scoones, I and Nori, M. In Zambakari et al. The Advisory’s Fall 2021 Issue

Ovejas, tierra y mercado: dependencia de los mercados internacionales y cambios en la relación entre pastores y naturaleza
Farinella D., Simula G. and González R.,  Relaciones Internacionales 47(2)

Climate change and agrarian struggles
SM Borras Jr, I Scoones, A Baviskar, M Edelman, NL Peluso, W Wolford
Journal of Peasant Studies, 1-28

Beyond the ‘Balance of Nature’: Pastoralists’ Alternative Perspectives on Sustainability
I Scoones, Nomadic Peoples 25 (2021): 114–117

“People should also look after the people”: relational values of wildlife and collectively titled land in Ilkisongo Maasai group ranches in Southern Kenya
Unks, R., Goldman, M.J., Mialhe, F. and Roque de Pinho, J. Ecology and Society 26(3):28

Blogs and commentaries

Recognising the role of pastoralists in agrarian development, Natasha Maru, Down to Earth

Why mainstream narratives on climate and livestock create multiple injustices, Fernando Garcia-Dory, Ella Houzer and Ian Scoones

Why carbon offsetting through tree planting won’t help solve the climate crisis, Ian Scoones

Bring back the herder conservationists, Hussein Tadicha Wario

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.

Keep in touch

For all enquiries about the project, contact

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