Today’s news is that the pastoral life in Africa is sustainable, even with a certain amount of Climate Change :-
“African livestock can triumph in the face of climate change : Africa’s livestock producers are bucking a trend, by proving resilient to climate change and generating huge economic benefits for their nations and regions, say researchers in a book published today by the International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED) and SOS Sahel. It shows how pastoralism is a major economic player and contributor to many African economies and one whose importance is only set to grow as climate change takes hold. “Pastoralists manage complex webs of profitable cross-border trade and draw huge economic benefits from rangelands ill-suited to other land use systems,” says Mahboub Maalim, Executive Secretary of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development, writing in the book’s preface. “Their livestock feed our families and grow our economies. And mobility is what allows them to do this.” The book, Modern and Mobile, shows how livestock play a key role in the economic prosperity in African’s drylands by supporting hundreds of millions of people, and a massive meat and leather industry. “What is remarkable is that these benefits all arise from animals fed solely on natural pasture,” says Ced Hesse, a researcher at IIED and one of the book’s authors. “The financial inputs are minimal but the benefits rapidly extend beyond the herders and their communities to enrich the lives of millions of people involved in the livestock supply chain including consumers in far off cities,” he adds. “This shows how crucial it is to support Africa’s pastoralists for their contribution to wider economic development.” The book shows that contrary to popular belief pastoralists actually profit from climatic variability…”
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I think after the amazing drought and its awful consequences in Kenya in 2009, I’m not entirely convinced by this argument. However, it’s worth thinking about : local practices are usually the most successful in coping with environmental change.
Plus, African pastoralism doesn’t depend on Fossil Fuel imports or any kind of novel infrastructure. It also doesn’t depend on “trade” with the rest of the World, who use that word to denote their usual plundering activities.
However, what I am convinced about is that other regions, and their corporations, and state apparatus, should leave Africa alone. Africa doesn’t need “investment” for the sole purpose of growing green beans for Western supermarkets :-
Africa doesn’t need to be the bread basket for China :-
And Africa doesn’t need Genetically Modified crops : it needs rainwater management and indigenous wisdom :-
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