Skip to main content

Assuring tenure rights to pastoralists can ensure food security(downtoearth)

In developing countries, one of the ways to ensure food security is by assuring adequate tenure rights to land. However, safeguarding tenure is not an easy task when it comes to the way land is used by pastoralists.

Over 500 million people in the world rely on livestock herding in the rangelands. They move from one place to another in search of pasture and also to avoid drought, animal diseases and civil conflicts.

To address the needs of pastoralists, the Food and Agriculture Organization, along with other organisations, has come up with a guide on how to establish tenure arrangements for this marginalised group of people.

“Pastoralism is a system of livestock production that takes advantage of both the diversity and the seasonality of natural resources in the rangelands. It is based on large-scale, carefully planned movements of livestock, which demands high levels of coordination between multiple users. This has led to the emergence of customs and institutions that enable decisions to be effectively made and enforced by local communities,” Jonathan Davies, coordinator of International Union for Conservation of Nature’s Drylands Programme and lead author of the guide, says.

Sustainable pastoralism

Resilient pastoral systems, which include critical functions such as soil fertilization, wider seed dispersal, improved groundwater infiltration, landscape maintenance and compatibility with local wildlife, are estimated to be two to ten times more productive per unit area, and resilient over a longer period than some of the alternative land uses like crop farming and mining that have been proposed to replace them.

Undergrazing can be as great a threat as overgrazing when it comes to environmental degradation as a result of climate change. When conflicts led to pastoral lands being abandoned in East Africa, lack of manure and rotational grazing led to lower plant diversity and thorny shrubs took over.

According to research, pastoralists will be the most affected by climate change. The extent of rangelands will change as weather patterns change. Some pastoral lands will become drier and, therefore, perhaps challenging to access. Meanwhile, other pastoral lands may get wetter and could come under greater pressure for conversion to other uses.

According to a United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) report, pastoralism benefits humanity. The study says that the practice should be encouraged for a successful global transition to green economy. Sustainable pastoralism on desert grasslands, woodlands and steppes maintains soil fertility, contributes to water regulation and promotes biodiversity.


Popular posts from this blog

SC asks Centre to strike a balance on Rohingya issue (.hindu)

Supreme Court orally indicates that the government should not deport Rohingya “now” as the Centre prevails over it to not record any such views in its formal order, citing “international ramifications”.

The Supreme Court on Friday came close to ordering the government not to deport the Rohingya.

It finally settled on merely observing that a balance should be struck between humanitarian concern for the community and the country's national security and economic interests.

The court was hearing a bunch of petitions, one filed by persons within the Rohingya community, against a proposed move to deport over 40,000 Rohingya refugees. A three-judge Bench, led by Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra, began by orally indicating that the government should not deport Rohingya “now”, but the government prevailed on the court to not pass any formal order, citing “international ramifications”. With this, the status quo continues even though the court gave the community liberty to approach it in …

Cloud seeding

Demonstrating the function of the flare rack that carries silver iodide for cloud-seeding through an aircraft. 
Water is essential for life on the earth. Precipitation from the skies is the only source for it. India and the rest of Asia are dependent on the monsoons for rains. While the South West Monsoon is the main source for India as a whole, Tamil Nadu and coastal areas of South Andhra Pradesh get the benefit of the North East Monsoon, which is just a less dependable beat on the reversal of the South West Monsoon winds.

India’s criminal wastage: over 10 million works under MGNREGA incomplete or abandoned (hindu)

In the last three and half years, the rate of work completion under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) has drastically declined, leading to wastage of public money and leaving villages more prone to drought. This could also be a reason for people moving out of the programme.

At a time when more than one-third of India’s districts are reeling under a drought-like situation due to deficit rainfall, here comes another bad news. The works started under the MGNREGA—close to 80 per cent related to water conservation, irrigation and land development—are increasingly not being completed or in practice, abandoned.

Going by the data (as on October 12) in the Ministry of Rural Development’s website, which tracks progress of MGNREGA through a comprehensive MIS, 10.4 million works have not been completed since April 2014. In the last three and half years, 39.7 million works were started under the programme. Going by the stipulation under the programme, close to 7…