Feed the Future
This project is part of the U.S. Government's global hunger and food security initiative.

Solutions for Pastoralists Facing Climate Change

Climate change is contributing to an increasing burden for millions across the globe. For those whose livelihoods are bound to natural resources, variable weather patterns are curtailing their ability to successfully plan for the future, a key component in development. Across the Sahel and the Horn of Africa, the livestock sector supports over 110 million people. Interventions within this sector are particularly important as drylands tend to be among the poorest regions, with an estimated 80 percent of all pastoralists in Sub-Saharan Africa living below the poverty line.

For pastoralists in West Africa, mobility in the face of climate change is essential to find ever-shrinking natural resources, including grazing land and fresh water for herds. Climate-related challenges are compounded by a multitude of others, including increased conflicts between transitory and permanent groups, caused by the complicated dichotomy between urbanization’s competition for natural resources and the substantial demand for livestock and its related products (including meat, milk and skins). Herders are also confronted with physical threats, unregulated taxes and unknown market prices, all of which contribute to growing skepticism about the benefits of traditional pastoralism.

In Sub-Saharan West Africa, SNV works to implement a multitude of approaches to help pastoralists increase resilience in the face of climate change. SNV provides pastoralists and agro-pastoralists with the tools, knowledge and capacity to forge sustainable livelihoods despite the complications of climate change and other obstacles. Solutions include the establishment of farmer-grazer alliances, community dialogues, civil society strengthening, strong livestock markets, management of natural resources within transhumance boundaries and award-winning mobile innovations.

Find a brief paper on pastoralist solutions by SNV Experts here.

Find in-depth, multi-faceted solutions to climate change throughout the globe on our website here.