Case study on approaches for supporting pastoralist groups facing climate change effects in Tanzania
The impacts of climate change are posing a direct threat to pastoralists and agro-pastoralists in the arid and semi-arid lands of Tanzania. Increasing variability of rainfall, rising temperatures and seasonal uncertainty are increasing the level of risk posed to communities and the plans of district and national government. These impacts are exacerbating inequalities already inherent in the institutional, legislative and policy environment for pastoralists.
Since Tanzanian independence, policy and legislation relating to livestock keeping has been based on misunderstandings about the sustainability and relevance of pastoralism in an industrialising economy. As such, policy and legislation in areas as wide as agriculture, natural resource management, tourism, conservation and urban development have had vague or contradictory solutions to problems associated with pastoralism. A focus on modernisation and commercialisation of both crop farming and livestock keeping has dominated policy, disregarding local or customary knowledge. These policies have served to undermine pastoralist livelihoods as a growing population and increasing numbers of investors take advantage of government incentives to engage in large scale commercially oriented crop production and modernised livestock production.