Land-use changes threatening pastoralism in East Africa

20 July 2018 - Pastoralism in Eastern Africa is threatened by various trends in land use: expansion of arable farming, pastures enclosure, nature conservation initiatives, tourism and extraction of natural resources. The CELEP policy brief “Sustainable pastoralism and land-use change in the East African drylands” (2018, 6pp) examines how these changes in land use have a negative impact on pastoralism. It makes recommendations for action, including formalisation of land-use rights and improving governance of pastoral lands. It includes the example of the land case of the Ogiek hunters and gatherers in Kenya.

"We, the Coalition of European Lobbies for eastern African pastoralism, believe that pastoralism is essential for sustainable long-term economic, social and environmental development of Eastern Africa’s drylands. Current processes of land-use change are threatening pastoralism through expansion of arable farming into dryland areas, national parks and other protected areas, tourism and extraction of mineral resources such as oil. Therefore, we urge that strategic land areas for pastoralists should be identified and protected, multiple use of land should be enabled through appropriate land use planning and statutory tenure, and impact assessments carried out for all investments based on the Principle of Free, Prior and Informed Consent."

Ph: A groom and his best man in Laisamis, northern Kenya, in front of their village preparing their wedding during rainy season. ©Petra Dilthey, ethno e-empowerment (