Policy engagement on pastoralism

Reflecting on the year gone by shows how PASTRES engaged with a wide audience through a variety of channesls in 2022. Our last newsletter highlighted some of our successes.

In addition to our successful COP campaigns on climate change and biodiversity respectively, PASTRES co-organised a series of successful stakeholder engagements in Brussels in early December in partnership with VSF-Belgium and CELEP (Coalition of European Lobbies for Eastern African Pastoralism).

The events included:

December 7, INTPA conference: Engaging with policy-makers and experts at the EU Commission’s International Partnerships Infopoint, PASTRES convened a panel discussion titled, “Pastoralists, embracing uncertainty in a turbulent world.” Bringing together pastoralist perspectives from the different PASTRES case sites, the event asked, “How can development and environmental programmes work alongside pastoralist communities? What are the threats and opportunities these face around the world?”

The panel proposed a new approach, informed by pastoralist knowledge and practice, to support livelihoods, to defuse ongoing conflicts, and to mitigate food and social insecurities.

A video of the discussion is available here: Event info

December 8, multimedia showcase: The PASTRES photo exhibition, ‘Seeing Pastoralism’ opened alongside a film festival, ‘Perspectives on Pastoralism’ at the Cinema Galeries in Brussels. Engaging a broader audience through multimedia presentations followed by a panel discussion, the event trying to deepen understanding of an undervalued lifestyle.

The movies screened included: An afternoon on the pasture’ (Hungary, 2022) which looks at the daily life of László, a traditional Hungarian herder practising close herded grazing; ‘Cowherds of the Savannah’ (Uganda, 2021) which shows how Karamonong herders from north-east Uganda turn the driest grasses into meat and milk, while struggling with regular epidemic outbreaks and conflicts; ‘Shepherds of the Deccan’ (India, 2022) follows the Dhangar nomads on the Deccan plateau in the middle of India, where they are faced with the ever-growing threat of climate change; and finally, ‘Bayandalai: lord of the Taiga’ (Mongolia, 2018) explores the largest forest on earth through the eyes of a reindeer herder in the north of Mongolia.

More information can be found here: Event info

Dec 9, Learning session at the DG Agri: On Dec 9, PASTRES co-lead researcher Michele Nori conducted a learning session at the EU Commissions Directorate-General for Agriculture and Rural Development, on the topic of the relevance of European agricultural policies for pastoralists. Despite policy support and popular recognition of the multiple values of pastoralism, it is on the decline in Europe. The outcomes of the EU’s Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) are disappointing. The session sought to address the challenge of translating well-intentioned policies into effective social facilities and economic returns. Speaking with officers working at the DG-AGRI, the session was timely as the Commission discusses transitions to sustainable food systems.

In 2023, we hope to build on this momentum and continue engaging relevant stakeholders to link research with policy-making.

Further reading

The sessions in Brussels were supported by two policy briefs:

Nori, M. (2022) Managing variability, governing security – How do policies affect livelihoods in sub-Saharan Africa drylands? Global Governance Programme Policy Brief, Italy: European University Institute

Nori, M. (2022) Greening on paper – Does European agricultural policy work for pastoralists? Global Governance Programme Policy Brief, Italy: European University Institute

Four working papers are also relevant:

Nori, M. (2022) Assessing the policy frame in pastoral areas of Europe, EUI Working Paper. In French | Italian | Spanish

Nori, M. (2022) Assessing the policy frame in pastoral areas of Sub-Saharan Africa, EUI Working Paper

Nori, M. (2022) Assessing the policy frame in pastoral areas of West Asia and North Africa, EUI Working Paper

Nori, M. (2022) Assessing the policy frame in pastoral areas of Asia, EUI Working Paper

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