Conflict and Fragility

Reports and papers

Pastoralist adaptation in Burkina Faso

22 Feb 2021 - 13:30
Source: USAID/Riccardo Gangale
Between hope and despair

This report thus provides an understanding of the causes and drivers fuelling grievances that have sidelined pastoralists. To this end, it unpacks the relationship between pastoralism, conflict, and stability in Burkina Faso. The study finds that pastoralists face structural trends working against them.

From this the following recommendations transpire:

  • A) Pastoralist communities need to be better included in the political decision-making processes as they are presently underrepresented both at national and local level. Addressing the root causes of violence is meant to adjust this unequal playing field of land and resources;
  • B) Pastoralists’ livelihoods have to be supported by diversification, intensification and training. The policy challenge is to develop new thinking as to how pastoral livelihoods can be sustained and combined with the new economic realities. This can take the form of new roles in the value chain, improving the place of pastoralists in the market, protecting mobility and pastoral intensification and these are the key policies that need to be put in place;
  • C) An integrated approach to agricultural development needs to be taken. Rather than supporting either farmers or pastoralists, projects focusing on development and resilience should seek to focus on the idea of multiple resource users within targeted landscapes;
  • D) Explicit support should be given to pastoral conflict mediation agents to prevent the escalation of localized grievances and conflicts. Clear links exist in the Rural Land Tenure Charters of the 2009 law. Revamping and supporting them is needed to mobilize support for community leaders, pastoralist mediation agents, traditional and religious authorities to help identify local solutions.

Read report. 

Also check out our webinar 3 March 'Cattle, Conflict & Commerce' on Rethinking European Interventions on Pastoralism.

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