Equipped to Adapt? A Review of Climate Hazards and Pastoralists’ Responses in the IGAD Region
Pastoralism offers a productive and profitable—but also sustainable—form of food production in many settings across the region covered by the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD). While climate change is exacerbating many of the existing environmental challenges facing livestock producers—especially drought—pastoralism nonetheless offers an extraordinarily resilient form of primary production that is well-suited to adapt to these changes. Policies and programmes to support pastoral resilience often focus on promoting specific adaptations. While this may be beneficial in the short-term, trends change and old adaptation strategies may become less suitable or even maladaptive. Rather than following pre-selected adaptation pathways, pastoralists must be equipped to adjust their adaptive strategies in response to ever-shifting climatic and environmental changes. Accordingly, climate resilience policies should focus not only on promoting specific adaptations, but on providing long-term support for adaptive capacity. This report brings together the most recent literature on pastoralism, mobility and climate change in the IGAD region in order to highlight the regional climate hazards facing pastoralists in the years ahead, and to identify evidence-based strategies for promoting their resilience in the face of adverse and often unpredictable environmental changes.