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Vulnerability of Worldwide Pastoralism to Global Changes and Interdisciplinary Strategies for Sustainable Pastoralism

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Type: Journal Article
Author: Dong, Shikui; Wen, Lu; Liu, Shiliang
Journal: Ecology and Society
Volume: 16
Date: 2011
URI: https://hdl.handle.net/10535/7600
Sector: Global Commons
Subject(s): adaptation
global change
Abstract: "Ten case studies from seven major pastoral regions across six continents were studied in this paper by conceptualizing three factors (agro-ecosystem resilience, livelihood options, and institution capacity) as the axes of a three-dimensional vulnerability framework. This analysis highlights the vulnerability of agriculture-based livelihood systems to global changes and helps identify what institutions have the potential to mobilize effective relief in different pastoral regions. In terms of results, this vulnerability assessment shows that the vulnerability of pastoralism was very different in all the cases across the globe. As such, a further analysis, based on the pressure-state-response (PSR) model was undertaken to enhance our understanding of the ways that global changes put pressures on pastoral livelihoods worldwide. From this we conclude that climate change and climate variability are driving fragile pastoral ecosystems into more vulnerable conditions. Socioeconomic factors, such as changes in land tenure, agriculture, sedentarization, and institutions are fracturing large-scale pastoral ecosystems into spatially isolated systems. The implications of this analysis are that professionals, practitioners, and policy makers should jointly develop a coupled human and natural systems approach that focuses on enhancing the resilience of pastoral communities and their practices. This requires institutional developments to support asset building and good governance to enhance adaptive capability. In addition, pastoralists’ adaptation strategies to global change need to be supported by public awareness and improved by institutional decisions at different scales and dimensions."

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