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Sustainable Nomadics


In 2005, more than 100 pastoral leaders from 25 countries met with NGO, UN and government officials in Turmi, Ethiopia, to discuss the future of nomadic peoples.

What does a sustainable nomadic future look like? Can it exist at all?

In this article Alex Steffen writes:

Herding as a way of life is eroding under a river of pressures. Some threats are political: modern pastoral nomads often lack political power, and sometimes move back and forth across national boundaries as they follow the grazing, bringing them into conflict with multiple settled groups. The economics of herding has been transformed by agro-industry and factory cattle lots. But changes in the land and weather may offer the direst threat. Pastoral nomadism is at home in ecologically marginal lands -- dry scrub, grasslands, high mountains, far Northern forests -- and marginal lands are more vulnerable than most to climate change and over-exploitation. We're already seeing the consequences: what a generation ago were good grazing lands have in many places become semi-deserts.
What are the more than 50 million pastoral nomads worldwide to do? Is there a sustainable nomadic future?
What's needed, it seems, is a new approach which marries political support for (and preservation of) traditional lifestyles and skills to modern tools and support systems.

Read the full article: Sustainable Nomadics.

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