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Outdated colonial concepts and one-sided focus on the “efficiency” of livestock systems have prevented the recognition of the benefits of pastoralism as a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
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    Accounting for pastoralists in Germany

    Günther Czerkus, Evelyn Mathias and Andreas Schenk / League for Pastoral Peoples and Endogenous Livestock Development / 2020

    Pastoralists are a tiny minority in Germany: The ca. 2,800 herders make up 1% or less of the country’s farmers.
    They manage up to 70% of the sheep (1.2 million animals), less than 0.5% of the cattle (55,000 animals), and some goats.
    They manage ca. 4.2% of Germany’s per­manent grassland.
    The 1,000 largest shepherds generate a net value of around €93 million in the form of meat, milk, cheese, wool and dung.
    Pastoralists play an outsized role in main­taining landscapes and the ecology. Their environmental services are worth €260–435 million per year. In addition, grazed land­scapes attract tourists and offer habitats for pollinating insects.
    Three categories of pastoralists exist: trans­humant shepherds, location­bound shep­herds, and alpine farmers.
    There is no generally accepted definition of pastoralists.
    Germany has a wealth of statistics, but spe­cific data on pastoralists are hard to find.

  • Title: Accounting for pastoralists in Germany
  • Author: Günther Czerkus, Evelyn Mathias and Andreas Schenk
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    Internationale Tagung Tierhalterrechte und Biologische Vielfalt

    A report of an International conference on Livestock Keepers’ Rights and Biodiversity organized by the League for Pastoral Peoples and Endogenous Livestock Development at Lichtenberg Castle, Odenwald, Germany, 19 May 2010. Summarizes presentations and discussions by livestock keepers and specialists from Germany, India, Pakistan, South Africa, Spain and Tanzania.

  • Title: Internationale Tagung Tierhalterrechte und Biologische Vielfalt
  • Author: LPP / League for Pastoral Peoples and Endogenous Livestock Development and Local Livestock for Empowerment (LIFE) Network / 2010
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