Advertisement

Human Ecology

, Volume 42, Issue 3, pp 351–365 | Cite as

Biophysical Variability and Pastoral Rights to Resources: West African Transhumance Revisited

  • Leif Brottem
  • Matthew D. Turner
  • Bilal Butt
  • Aditya Singh
Article

Abstract

This paper focuses on a conundrum that has dominated the literature on pastoral mobility and institutions in dryland regions of the world, where livestock production is the main livelihood system. High spatiotemporal variability of rainfall and forage resources are seen to require flexible rules and porous social boundaries to facilitate pastoral mobility—characteristics that run counter to conventional views of the requirements for effective common property institutions. We seek to explore this paradox by investigating the spatiotemporal variability of forage availability (using satellite derived vegetation indices as a proxy for green forage) in four transhumance zones (“transhumance sheds”) in Mali, West Africa. For each transhumance shed, three characteristics with important institutional implications are evaluated over an eleven-year period between 2000 and 2010: the inter-annual variability of forage phenology, seasonal changes in connectivity of green forage patches, and the degree to which key forage locations exist in the form of consistently early green-up and/or late senescence. Periods of vegetation green-up and senescence, which determine the timing of transhumant livestock movements, are found to be sufficiently regular from year to year to be governed by conventional institutions. Seasonal changes in the north-south connectivity of green patches are sufficiently rapid for customary systems of sharing of pasture information to be effective (rather than more technologically sophisticated systems of pasture information). Moreover, transhumance sheds contain key pastoral forage sites, which because of their consistently early greening or late senescence, are strong candidates for territorial protection from alternative land uses such as agriculture. These findings support local herders’ views of transhumance as composed of regular patterns of herd movements along prescribed corridors between key pastoral sites. The seasonal regularity of key pastoral resources has been obscured by an overemphasis on environmental unpredictability that characterizes dryland systems at certain spatial and temporal scales. This paper suggests that policies directed at improving pastoral resource governance must focus instead on securing pastoralists’ access rights to movement corridors, specific pastures and water points.

Keywords

Pastoral mobility Transhumance Resource access Sudano-Sahelian West Africa NDVI Spatial analysis 

References

  1. Adriansen H. K. (2006). Continuity and Change in Pastoral Livelihoods of Senegalese Fulani. 23:215–229.Google Scholar
  2. Ba, A. H., and J. Daget. 1984. L’Empire Peul du Macina (1818–1853). Les Nouvelles Editions Africaines, AbidjanGoogle Scholar
  3. Bassett, T. J. 1986. Fulani Herd Movements. The Geographic Journal 77 (3):233–248.Google Scholar
  4. Bassett, T. J. 1988. The Political Ecology of Peasant-Herder Conflicts in the northern Ivory Coast. Annals of the Association of American Geographers 78 (3):453–472.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Bassett, T. J., and M. D. Turner. 2007. Sudden Shift or Migratory Drift? FulBe Herd Movements to the Sudano-Guinean Region of West Africa. Human Ecology 35:33–49.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Beauvilain, A. (1977). Les Peul du Dallol Bosso. Niamey: Institut de Recherce en Sciences Humaines.Google Scholar
  7. Behnke, R., I. Scoones, and C. Kerven. 1993. Range Ecology at Disequilibrium: New Models of Variability and Pastoral Adaptation in African Savannas. London: Overseas Development Institute.Google Scholar
  8. Benjamin, C. (2008). Legal Pluralism and Decentralization: Natural Resource Management in Mali. World Development 36 (11): 2255–2276.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Benoit M. (1979). Le chemin des Peul du Boobola. Éditions ORSTOM, Paris.Google Scholar
  10. Berkes F., and Folke, C. (1998). Linking Social and Ecological Systems: Management Practices and Social Mechanisms for Building Resilience. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.Google Scholar
  11. Boureima A. (2006). Rapport de Travail Sur Les Zones Eco-Fonctionnelles de la Réserve de Biosphère Boucle du Baoulé (9 au 21 décembre 2005). UNESCO, Paris.Google Scholar
  12. Breman H., and De Wit, C. T. (1983). Rangeland Productivity and Exploitation in the Sahel. Science 221 (4618): 1341–1347.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Bro-Jørgensen, J., Brown, M. E., and Pettorelli, N. (2008). Using the Satellite-Derived Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) to Explain Ranging Patterns in a Lek-Breeding Antelope: The Importance of Scale. Oecologia 158 (1): 177–182.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Brottem, L. (2013). The Place of the Fula: Intersections of Political and Environmental Change in Western Mali, PhD dissertation, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison. Ann Arbor: ProQuest/UMI, 2013. (Publication No. AAT 3566523.)Google Scholar
  15. Butt B. (2010). Pastoral Resource Access and Utilization: Quantifying the Spatial and Temporal Relationships between Livestock Mobility, Density and Biomass Availability in Southern Kenya. Land Degradation & Development 21 (6): 520–539.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Butt B., Turner M. D., Singh A., and Brottem, L. (2011). Use of MODIS NDVI to Evaluate Changing Latitudinal Gradients of Rangeland Phenology in Sudano-Sahelian West Africa. Remote Sensing of Environment 115 (12): 3367–3376.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Casimir, M., and Rao, A. (1992). Mobility and Territoriality: Social and Spatial Boundaries Among Foragers, Fishers, Pastoralists and Peripatetics. Berg, Providence.Google Scholar
  18. Chamaillé-Jammes, S., H. Fritz, and F. Murindagomo. 2006. Spatial Patterns of the NDVI-Rainfall Relationship at the Seasonal and Interannual Time Scales in an African Savanna. International Journal of Remote Sensing 27 (23–24):5185–5200.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Cissé, S. (1986). Les Territoires Pastoraux du Delta Interieur du Niger. Nomadic Peoples 20: 21-32.Google Scholar
  20. Cleaver, F. (2000). Moral Ecological Rationality, Institutions and the Management of Common Property Resources. Development and Change 31 (2): 361–383.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. De Bruijn, M., and van Dijk, H. (1995). Arid Ways: Cultural Understandings of Insecurity in Fulbe Society, Central Mali. Thela Publishers, Amsterdam.Google Scholar
  22. De Bruijn, M., and van Dijk, H. (2003). Changing Population Mobility in West Africa: Fulbe Pastoralists in Central and South Mali. African Affairs 102 (407):285.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. de Jode, H. (2010). Modern and Mobile: The Future of Livestock Production in Africa's Drylands. IIED, London.Google Scholar
  24. Derry, J. F., and Boone, R. B. (2010). Grazing Systems are a Result of Equilibrium and Non-Equilibrium Dynamics. Journal of Arid Environments 74 (2): 307–309.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Diallo, A. (1978). Transhumance: Comportement, Nutrition et Productivité d'un Troupeau Zébus de Diafarabé. Centre Pédagogique Supérieure, Bamako.Google Scholar
  26. Ellis, J. E., Coughenour, M., and Swift, D. M. (1993). Climatic variability, ecosystems stability, and the implications for range and livestock development. In Behnke, R., Scoones, I., and Kerven, C. (eds.), Range Ecology at Disequilibrium: New Models of Natural Variability and Pastoral Adaptation in African Savannas. Overseas Development Institute, London, pp. 31–41.Google Scholar
  27. Ellis, J., and Galvin, K. A. (1994). Climate Patterns and Land-Use Practices in the Dry Zones of Africa. Bioscience 44 (5): 340–349.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Ellis, J., and Swift, D. (1988). Stability of African Pastoral Ecosystems: Alternate Paradigms and Implications for Development. Journal of Range Management 41 (6): 450–459.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Fernandez-Gimenez, M. E. (2002). Spatial and Social Boundaries and the Paradox of Pastoral Land Tenure: a Case Study from Postsocialist Mongolia. Human Ecology 30 (1): 49–78.Google Scholar
  30. Fernandez-Gimenez, M. E., and Le Febre, S. (2006). Mobility in Pastoral Systems: Dynamic Flux or Downward Trend? International Journal of Sustainable Development and World Ecology 13 (5): 341–362.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Gallais, J. (1967). Le Delta Intérieur du Niger. IFAN, Dakar.Google Scholar
  32. Gallais, J. (1975). Paysans et Pasteurs du Gourma. La Condition Sahélienne. CNRS, Paris.Google Scholar
  33. Gallais, J. (1984). Hommes du Sahel: Espaces-Temps et Pouvoirs: Le Delta Intérieur du Niger 1960–1980, Collection Géographes. Flammarion, Paris.Google Scholar
  34. Galvin, K. A. (2009). Transitions: Pastoralists Living with Change. Annual Review of Anthropology 38: 185–198.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Gamon, J. A., Field, C. B., Goulden, M. L., Griffin, K. L., Hartley, A. E., Joel, G., Peñuelas, J., and Valentini, R. (1995). Relationships Between NDVI, Canopy Structure, and Photosynthesis in Three Californian Vegetation Types. Ecological Applications 5(1): 28–41.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Geerling, C., and Diakité, M. D. (1988). Rapport Final du Project 'Recherche Pour l'Utilisation Rationelle du Gibier au Sahel. Direction Nationelle des Eaux et Forets, Bamako.Google Scholar
  37. Gunderson, L., and Holling, C. S. (2002). Panarchy: Understanding Transformations in Human and Natural Systems. Island Press, Washington DC.Google Scholar
  38. Hardin, G. (1968). The Tragedy of the Commons. Science 162 (3859): 1243–1248.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Heasley, L., and Delehanty, J. (1996). The Politics of Manure: Resource Tenure and the Agropastoral Economy in Southwestern Niger. Society & Natural Resources 9 (1):31–46.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Hochet, P. (2005). La gestion décentralisée des ressources pastorales de la commune de Kouri: association culture-élevage, organisation paysanne et négociation dans le Minyankala (Sud-Est du Mali): Groupe de recherche et d'échanges technologiques (GRET).Google Scholar
  41. Justice, C. O., and Hiernaux, P. H. Y. (1986). Monitoring the Grasslands of the Sahel Using NOAA AVHRR Data: Niger 1983. International Journal of Remote Sensing 7 (11):1475–1497.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Le Houérou, H. N. (1989). The Grazing Land Ecosystems of the African Sahel. Springer-Verlag, Heidelberg.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Marty, A. 1993. La gestion de terroirs et les éleveurs: un outil d'exclusion ou de négociation? Tiers Monde 34 (134): 327–344.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. McCabe, J. T. (2004). Cattle Bring us to Our Enemies. University of Michigan Press, Ann Arbor.Google Scholar
  45. McCarthy, N., and Di Gregorio, M. (2007). Climate Variability and Flexibility in Resource Access: The Case of Pastoral Mobility in Northern Kenya. Environment and Development Economics 12:403–421.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. McGarigal, K., and Marks, B. J. (1995). FRAGSTATS: Spatial Pattern Analysis Program for Quantifying Landscape Structure. In USDA Forest Service General Technical Report.Google Scholar
  47. Moritz, M. 2006. The Politics of Permanent Conflict: Farmer-Herder Conflicts in Northern Cameroon. Canadian Journal of African Studies 40 (1):101–126.Google Scholar
  48. Moritz, M., Soma E., Scholte, P., Ningchuan Xiao, Leah Taylor, Todd Juran, and Saïdou Kari. 2010. An Integrated Approach to Modeling Grazing Pressure in Pastoral Systems: The Case of the Logone Floodplain (Cameroon). Human Ecology 38 (6):775–789.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Mwangi, E., and Ostrom, E. (2009). Top-Down Solutions: Looking Up from East Africa's Rangelands. Environment 51 (1):36–44.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Niamir-Fuller, M. (1999). Managing Mobility in African Rangelands: The Legitimization of Transhumance. Intermediate Technologies Publications Ltd, London.Google Scholar
  51. Ostrom, E. (1990). Governing the Commons: The Evolution of Institutions for Collective Action. Cambridge University Press, New York.Google Scholar
  52. Painter, T., Sumberg, J., and Price, T. (1994). Your “Terroir” and My ‘Action Space’: Implications of Differentiation, Mobility and Diversification for the “Approche Terroir” in Sahelian West Africa. Africa: Journal of the International African Institute 64 (4):447–464.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Penning de Vries, F., and Djitèye, M. (1982). La productivité des pâturages Sahéliens. Centre for Agricultural Publishing and Documentation, Wageningen.Google Scholar
  54. Peters, P. (1987). Embedded systems and rooted models: The Grazing Lands of Botswana and the Commons Debate. In McKay, B., and Acheson, J. (eds.), The Question of the Commons: The Culture and Ecology of Communal Resources. University of Arizona Press, Tuscon, pp. 171–194.Google Scholar
  55. Pettorelli, N., Jakob, B.-J., Durant, S. M., Blackburn, T., and Carbone, C. (2009). Energy Availability and Density Estimates in African Ungulates. The American Naturalist 173 (5): 698–704.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. Robinson, L. W. (2009). A Complex-Systems Approach to Pastoral Commons. Human Ecology 37: 441–451.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. Santoir, C. (1983). Raison Pastorale et Politique de Développement. Les Peuls Sénégalais face aux aménagements. ORSTOM, Paris.Google Scholar
  58. Schmitz, J. (1986). L'État géomètre: les leydi des Peul du Fuuta Tooro (Sénégal) et du Maasina (Mali). Cahiers d'Etudes Africaines 26: 349–394.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  59. Scoones, I. (1994). Living with Uncertainty: New Directions in Pastoral Development in Africa. International Institute for Environment and Development, London.Google Scholar
  60. Swallow, B. (1994). The role of Mobility Within the Risk Management Strategies of Pastoralists and Agro-Pastoralists. In Gatekeepers Series #47. International Institute for Environment and Development, London.Google Scholar
  61. Swallow, B., and Bromley, D. (1995). Institutions, Governance and Incentives in Common Property Regimes for African Rangelands. Environment and Resource Economics 6 (2): 99–118.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  62. Thébaud, B. (1988). Elevage et développment au Niger. Bureau International du Travail, Genève.Google Scholar
  63. Thébaud, B., and Batterbury, S. (2001). Sahel Pastoralists: Opportunism, Struggle, Conflict and Negotiation. A Case Study from Eastern Niger. Global Environmental Change 11 (1):69–78.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  64. Turner, M. D. (1992). Living on the Edge: FulBe Herding Practices and the Relationship Between Economy and Ecology in the Inland Niger Delta of Mali, University of California, Berkeley.Google Scholar
  65. Turner, M. D. (1999a). Conflict, Environmental Change, and Social Institutions in Dryland Africa: Limitations of the Community Resource Management Approach. Society & Natural Resources 12: 643–657.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  66. Turner, M. D. (1999b). The role of social networks, indefinite boundaries and political bargaining in maintaining the ecological and economic resilience of the transhumance systems of Sudano-Sahelian West Africa. In Niamir-Fuller, M. (ed.), Managing Mobility in African Rangelands: The Legitimization of Transhumance. Intermediate Technologies Publications Ltd, London, pp. 97–123.Google Scholar
  67. Turner, M. D., Ayantunde, A., Patterson, K. P., and Patterson, E. D. (2011). Livelihood Transitions and the Changing Nature of Farmer-Herder Conflict in Sahelian West Africa. Journal of Development Studies 47 (2).Google Scholar
  68. Turner, M. D., Ayantunde, A., Patterson, K. P., and Patterson, E. D. (2012). Conflict Management, Decentralization and Agropastoralism in Dryland West Africa. World Development 40 (4):745–757.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  69. Vetter, S. (2005). Rangelands at Equilibrium and Non-Equilibrium: Recent Developments in the Debate. Journal of Arid Environments 62 (2):321–341.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  70. Zhang, X., Friedl, M. A., Schaaf, C. B., Strahler, A., and Liu, Z. (2005). Monitoring the Response of Vegetation Phenology to Precipitation in Africa by Coupling MODIS and TRMM Instruments. Journal of Geophysical Research 110 (2).Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Leif Brottem
    • 1
  • Matthew D. Turner
    • 2
  • Bilal Butt
    • 3
  • Aditya Singh
    • 4
  1. 1.Department of Political ScienceGrinnell CollegeGrinnellUSA
  2. 2.Department of GeographyUniversity of WisconsinMadisonUSA
  3. 3.School of Natural Resources and the EnvironmentUniversity of MichiganAnn ArborUSA
  4. 4.Department of Forest and Wildlife EcologyUniversity of WisconsinMadisonUSA

Personalised recommendations