Mitigating the ongoing crisis in the Sahel – the key role of pastoralists

Policy brief, Publications

The Sahel is home to millions of pastoralists. These mobile livestock keepers have turned the variability of the climate in the region to their advantage to produce milk and meat in a sustainable way. In doing so, they provide important economic benefits to their households and also to their national economies.

However, the current crisis is profoundly affecting the livelihoods and production systems of most pastoralists. They are also affected by the lack of an empowering socio-economic and policy environment, resulting into conflicts over access to and control over natural resources. Climate change and increased demographic pressure are only making the situation worse, creating the perfect breeding ground for military and jihadist movements to recruit impoverished and dissatisfied pastoralists.

Safeguard pastoralists’ lives and livelihoods

Vétérinaires Sans Frontières Belgium is committed to addressing this situation. We are calling for pastoralist-specific measures, both in the short and long term.

Targeted investments are needed in all programmes related to the Central Sahel to safeguard pastoralists’ lives and livelihoods. In addition, we also call for a holistic approach to security development in the Sahel and an update of pastoralist policies, such as the ECOWAS Protocol on Transhumance (1998) and Supporting Regulation (2003).

Read more

Download our new Policy Brief to learn more about our political recommendations: Mitigating the ongoing crisis in the Sahel – the key role of pastoralists