Responses of Pastoralists to Land Fragmentation: Social Capital, Connectivity and Resilience

  • Kathleen A. Galvin

Change in the world’s rangelands is proceeding at an unprecedented rate. In particular, fragmentation of pastoral rangelands is occurring as population growth, “modernity” and development spurs diversification and intensification of livelihoods and as the powerful and wealthy gain access to these lands for commercial use such as industrial agriculture, conservation, or tourism (Walker and Abel 2002, Agrawal 2003, Lesorogol 2003, Woodhouse 2003). Access to resources under fragmentation may be possible in some instances and not in others. As pastoralists diversify their livelihood strategies into agriculture, business, and wage labor, their dependency on livestock often decreases. Livestock may or may not remain the main source of income, but for people who have livestock, they must still be able to access resources for their stock as long as they have them. For herders in more arid environments, livestock remain the only viable livelihood strategy. In either case, management of livestock and how to gain access to resources remains an issue. A set of rules are used, modified, and created by people during and after the process of fragmentation to gain access to grazing land resources. This chapter explores social capital, the set of rules that allow access to resources and how it can and is being used in livestock management under fragmentation.


Social Capital Grazing Land Landscape Connectivity Resource Patch Adaptive Governance 
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© Springer 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kathleen A. Galvin
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Anthropology and Natural Resource Ecology LaboratoryColorado State UniversityFort CollinsUSA

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