Accounting for pastoralists: Why it is important and how to do it?

Ilse Köhler-Rollefson / League for Pastoral Peoples and Endogenous Livestock Development / 2020

Pastoralism is a way of raising animals with nature. It entails the movement of people and herds across landscapes, making use of natural vegetation and crop by-products.
Pastoralism corresponds to public demands for high animal welfare and environmentally friendly methods of livestock production. If we want to make the livestock sector more sustainable, this production system requires strong policy support.
We currently do not know how many pastoralists there are globally or within each country. This is due to the absence of data collection and because pastoralism is not a distinct category in livestock censuses.
Outdated colonial concepts and one-sided focus on the “efficiency” of livestock systems have prevented the recognition of the benefits of pastoralism as a solar-powered, biodiversity-conserving food-production strategy.
In order to monitor the situation and provide a basis for policymaking, FAO should lead a global initiative to define pastoralism and record data by production system.

  • Title: Accounting for pastoralists: Why it is important and how to do it?
  • Author: Ilse Köhler-Rollefson
  • Download document

    Accounting for pastoralists in Kenya

    Jacob Barasa Wanyama / League for Pastoral Peoples and Endogenous Livestock Development / 2020

    Kenya has some 8.8 million people (1.73 mil-lion households) who identify as pastoralists. Of these, 4.0 million individuals (0.8 million households) depend directly on livestock.
    They manage about 70% of the country’s cattle, 87% of its sheep and 81% of its goats, 100% of its camels, 88% of its don-keys and 74% of the beehives.
    Their products include milk, meat, honey, beeswax, and skins.
    The pastoral sector was worth $1.13 billion in 2019: 92% from livestock and 8% from other products and services.
    Kenya’s tourism industry is highly dependent on pastoralism as it helps to conserve wildlife and unique cultures. Pastoralism’s support to tourism was worth $29 million out of a total industry value of $2.5 billion.
    Official surveys do not use a “pastoralism” category, but by comparing county-level data for production systems and populations it is possible to estimate numbers of pastoralists.
    Bodies mandated with data collection should segregate data between pastoralists, agropastoralists and farmers.

  • Title: Accounting for pastoralists in Kenya
  • Author: Jacob Barasa Wanyama
  • Download document

    People-centred livestock development: A tool for sustainable development?

    People-centred livestock development builds on livestock keepers’ own initiatives and efforts, while helping them to use the best of both local and outside knowledge and resources. This literature review summarizes and analyses the experiences of 16 projects and organizations in Africa, Latin America and Europe that use such approaches.

  • Title: People-centred livestock development: A tool for sustainable development?
  • Author: Ellen Geerlings / League for Pastoral Peoples and Endogenous Livestock Development / 2010
  • Download document

    Kuttapalayam Confirmation

    A group of non-government organizations has called on governments and international organizations to support the conservation of livestock breeds in their original habitats – and by the livestock-keeping groups that developed them.
    Members of the LIFE Network, a grouping of organizations focusing on local livestock breeds, made the call at a conference at Kuttapalayam, in Tamil Nadu, India, on 13-15 August 2010.
    The final statement from the conference calls on the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations to promote agro-ecosystems approaches to the management of animal genetic resources and support indigenous and local production systems. These goals are already incorporated in the Global Plan of Action on Animal Genetic Resources.
    The NGOs also demanded that livestock keepers be included in the debate about the future of livestock production and to be recognized as guardians of livestock biodiversity.
    The conference statement was signed by 21 NGOs from India, South Africa, Kenya, Spain and Germany.

  • Title: Kuttapalayam Confirmation
  • Author: LIFE Network / LIFE Network / 2010
  • Download document