Pastoralists in the dry parts of eastern Africa are challenged by the impacts of frequent droughts and severe land degradation, and moving livestock from place to place in order to access water, food and markets is necessary to make productive use of the land.
However, formal land tenure is weak in the region, and adequate land use planning is lacking. Land can be leased to investors for irrigated crop farming with little, if any, thought or provision for maintaining pastoralists’ access to rivers and grazing pastures. Because pastoralism is generally not acknowledged as a land use with a comparative advantage in drylands, pastoralists are poorly placed and have little power to protect their land and resources from encroachment by outsiders.
Scientists resolved to map traditional livestock routes in Tanzania and Ethiopia to raise awareness of their critical importance, not only for local livelihoods but also for economic growth in the Horn of Africa.
Read an outcome story about this work from the CGIAR Research Program on Dryland Systems