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Pastoral Land Rights and Resource Governance: Overview and Recommendations for Managing Conflicts and Strengthening Pastoralists’ Rights

By: Roy Behnke, Mark Freudenberger

This paper produced by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) identifies obstacles to securing pastoral land tenure in developing countries and proposes a strategy, involving national governments and international development initiatives, to empower pastoral communities to maintain their traditional livelihoods. Recent research has demonstrated that pastoralist communities make important contributions to national economies and often engage in sustainable resource management. Nevertheless, national and international development policies by and large provide inadequate protection for pastoralists against the increasing threat of land and natural resource loss through conflict with encroaching agricultural producers, government appropriation of lands as conservation areas, and forced relocation due to the effects of climate change. The briefing paper argues public policy must shift to support customary land tenure systems that allow pastoralists mobility and safeguard pastoralists’ access to key natural resources such as grazing grounds, watering holes, and movement corridors.

Keywords: pastoralism, customary land tenure, conservation, armed conflict, climate change.

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Uploaded on: Jul 27, 2015
Last Updated: Mar 30, 2018
Year Published: 2013
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