Pastoral livelihoods and climate change

Project
Archived

An IIED project in Niger looked at how pastoral people in eastern Niger are adapting to climate change.

WoDaaBe pastoralist with his cattle

Pastoralists live in a context of environmental uncertainty and have developed a diverse range of strategies, institutions and networks to exploit this unpredictability and risk to their advantage.

Livestock mobility and the carefully controlled breeding of animals to feed selectively on the best quality pastures highly dispersed in time and space are two of the more critical strategies.

Despite their proven value, these strategies are still poorly understood and integrated in policy design. In order to provide sound policy advice, it's critical to gain a better understanding of these strategies in light of increasing climatic variability, growing competition for land, rising population and decentralisation.

The project worked on two pieces of research.

First, a better understanding of how different categories of pastoral people in eastern Niger are adapting in practice to climate change. Fieldwork was completed documenting the differentiated impact of climate change on six different pastoral communities, the strategies they are using to respond and which of these are successful and why.

Central to the research was also gaining an understanding of the role of politics and the extent to which Niger’s policy environment helped build the resilience of local communities to adapt to climate change and to what degree differences of gender, ethnicity and residence impacted on communities’ capacities to adapt.

Second, the production of a film documented the economic exploitation of environmental unpredictability by Wodaabe herders in Niger. The film presented in the lives of two families the rationale underpinning their mobility patterns: the harvesting of unstable concentrations of nutrients on the range by carefully built teams of cattle versed in the ‘art’ of feeding selectively, and the proactive and systematic creation of economic value rather than mere survival.

Ngaynaaka: Herding Chaos

This series of documentaries by Saverio Krätli presented in the lives of two families the rationale underpinning their mobility patterns: the harvesting of unstable concentrations of nutrients on the range by carefully built teams of cattle versed in the ‘art’ of feeding selectively, and the proactive and systematic creation of economic value rather than mere survival.

The playlist below, and available on our YouTube channel, shows the documentaries in English and French.


The Herding chaos videos include/les vidéos élevage et le chaos comprennent:

View a further selection of short videos exploring the impact of climate change on pastoralists

Partners

Secrétariat Permanent du Code Rural, Niger

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