Pastoralism and Pastoralist Livelihoods

Since 2010, the Feinstein Center has embarked on a major three-year research project on Pastoralism, Trade and Markets, which is part of the UNEP Sudan Integrated Environment Project funded by UKaid, from the Department for International Development. The pastoralist project aims to promote understanding of pastoralists’ livelihoods systems among local, national and international stakeholders and to strengthen the capacity of pastoralist leaders, organizations and other advocates to articulate the rational for pastoralism.

This work is in close partnership with a number of national and international partners, including UNEP Sudan, SOS Sahel Sudan, the Darfur Development and Reconstruction Agency, the Nomads Development Council and the International Institute of the Environment and Development. It also depends on the support and participation of a wide network of national and local organizations, professionals and academics.

Our activities are wide-ranging, and include stakeholder surveys, participatory policy reviews, policy trainings, research studies and also case-studies of actual livestock programmes. We undertake a wide range of national meetings, workshops, regional state level events and stakeholder briefings in order to disseminate and review our findings with a wide range of audiences.

Studies and Research Reports

  • Pastoralism and Pastoralists in Sudan: A Stakeholder Mapping and Survey (PDF)
    The report describes the stakeholder groups, their sectoral involvement, and their awareness and opinions of the policy issues and challenges affecting pastoralists and pastoralist livelihood systems. More than 50 percent of the challenges identified by survey respondents related to environment and natural resources. A review of the UN work plan for 2011 indicates that pastoralists are generally under-represented or poorly considered in the UN humanitarian and recovery programs. This echoes the gaps within the national and state level government.

Reports of National Meetings and Workshops

  • LEGS Final Report (PDF)
  • LEGS Presentations (PDF)
    This workshop report, with additional presentations, is one of several published outputs as part of a major three-year research project on Pastoralism, Trade and Markets in Sudan, under the UNEP Sudan Integrated Environment Project. The aims of this workshop were: to promote a wider understanding of the international and national LEGS initiatives; to review LEGS related programmes in Sudan; and to introduce the concepts, tools, and applications of Participatory Impact Assessment (PIA) with a view to identifying specific case-studies in Sudan for further review and learning. This report presents the seven expert presentations from national and international agencies, and summarizes the discussions during the workshop. It also presents the participants reflections on the relevance and implications of these initiatives for their work and for their organisations.

Working Papers

  • Economics of Pastoral Livestock Production in Sudan (PDF)
    This Working Paper is part of a series of policy review working papers undertaken as a foundational activity to inform subsequent briefing papers, research studies, policy trainings and other events. This working paper first reviews the contribution of livestock and pastoralists to the Sudanese national economy and assesses the reliability of statistical data on this subject. Next it discusses several key national government policies on taxation and trade that affect the economic welfare of pastoralists. The final section reviews the impact of current economic trends on pastoral production systems, focusing on the effect of increased commercial involvement on herd management practices and on the distribution of wealth in pastoral communities

Briefing Papers

  • Pastoralism in Practice: Monitoring Livestock Mobility in Contemporary Sudan (PDF)
    This is the fourth in a series of Policy Briefing Papers which form part of the Environment and Livelihoods component of the UNEP Sudan Integrated Environment Programme, funded by UKAid from the UK Department for International Development (DFID). This paper highlights the strategic importance of pastoralist mobility for livestock production and outlines ways in which pastoralism can be supported to benefit livelihoods, the environment, peace and stability, and the economy of Sudan.
  • Economics of Pastoral Livestock Production in Sudan (PDF); Arabic Version (PDF)
    Livestock is by value the largest subsector of Sudan’s domestic economy, larger even than petroleum. To a remarkable extent the economy of Sudan is based on a combination of pastoral and agro-pastoral livestock production by farming and herding households in almost every region and state, the majority of which depend to some degree on livestock mobility. Livestock has consistently provided more than 60% of the estimated value added by agriculture to the Sudanese economy and is a substantially more important contributor to national agricultural GDP than crop farming. At no time in the last decade has the contribution of petroleum to GDP come close to equaling the contribution of agriculture, of which livestock provides the biggest part.This Briefing Paper is the first in a series of Pastoralism Briefing Papers, which form part of the UNEP Sudan Integrated Environment Project, funded by UKaid from the UK Department for international Development (DFID).