Approaches

Pastoralism in Niger: monitoring system for movements and spatial adaptation strategies of transhumant livestock keepers [Niger]

Dabboyi (Peulh)

approaches_2328 - Niger

Completeness: 97%

1. General information

1.2 Contact details of resource persons and institutions involved in the assessment and documentation of the Approach

Key resource person(s)

SLM specialist:
SLM specialist:

Abarchi Harouna

(+227) 96 26 36 46 / (+227) 90 41 90 50

ab.harou@gmail.com / aren@intnet.ne

Association for Revitalising the Livestock Sector in Niger (AREN)

Niamey

Niger

SLM specialist:

Merkovic-Orenstein Alex

(+ 221) 77 33 38 379

amerkovic@wa.acfspain.org

Action Against Hunger, Dakar (ACF), Regional Disaster Risk Management and GIS Adviser

Yoff Toundoup RYA lot No. 11, Dakar - Senegal

Senegal

Name of project which facilitated the documentation/ evaluation of the Approach (if relevant)
Projet de surveillance pastorale en Afrique subsaharienne (Départements d’Abala, de Banibangou et de Filingué), Niger (ACF / AREN)
Name of project which facilitated the documentation/ evaluation of the Approach (if relevant)
Book project: Guidelines to Rangeland Management in Sub-Saharan Africa (Rangeland Management)
Name of the institution(s) which facilitated the documentation/ evaluation of the Approach (if relevant)
GREAD (GREAD) - Niger
Name of the institution(s) which facilitated the documentation/ evaluation of the Approach (if relevant)
Action Contre La Faim International (ACF International)

1.3 Conditions regarding the use of data documented through WOCAT

When were the data compiled (in the field)?

06/09/2014

The compiler and key resource person(s) accept the conditions regarding the use of data documented through WOCAT:

Yes

1.4 Reference(s) to Questionnaire(s) on SLM Technologies

Assisted Natural Regeneration on agro-pastoral, sylvo-pastoral and pastoral land
technologies

Assisted Natural Regeneration on agro-pastoral, sylvo-pastoral and pastoral ... [Niger]

Assisted Natural Regeneration (ANR) in pastoral zones is a simple and low-cost agroforestry technique. It involves locating and preserving shoots from stumps of woody and herbaceous vegetation on communal land used for agro-pastoralism, sylvo-pastoralism or pastoralism. The aim is to accelerate the process of natural regeneration resulting from natural seedlings ...

  • Compiler: Soumaila Abdoulaye
Couloirs de passage
technologies

Couloirs de passage [Niger]

The ‘couloirs de passage’ are formally defined passageways which channel the movements of livestock herds in the agro-pastoral zones of Niger, by linking pastures, water points and coralling areas, be it within village areas (internal couloirs) or on open land (external couloirs).

  • Compiler: Lemma Ababu

2. Description of the SLM Approach

2.1 Short description of the Approach

This approach, traditional in nature and supported by the National Mechanism for the Prevention and Management of Disasters and Food Crises (DNPGCCA), consists of a Geographical Information System, which integrates the water resources, the movement of populations, and the spatial distribution of grazing land, also in terms of the quantities of forage resources. The objective of the approach is to provide a tool to support the management of pastoralism and the identification, tracking and prevention of potential food crises.

2.2 Detailed description of the Approach

Detailed description of the Approach:

The 'Monitoring system for movements and spatial adaptation strategies of transhumant livestock keepers' in the department of Abala (Region of Tillabéri, Niger), is a traditional communal approach for the sustainable management of animal resources. The approach focuses on a community-based organisation of mobility, an information system and on rules for the movements of herds and people. These movements are characterized by several routes: the routes that become available after the clearing of fields in the agricultural zone (in October-November), and the routes starting to develop in the rainy season before the closing of the fields for grazing (in May-June). The period of transhumance varies with the direction and the distance of the grazing land from the regions of origin of the livestock keepers. The key drivers determining the length of the period of transhumance remain the vulnerability factors: rainfall, the condition of the grazing land, animal health, the infrastructure for social matters and education, the organizational capacities and the capacities for social change in the local communities, security and the relations between authorities and people. The combination of these factors explains the behavior of the herdsman during the transhumance. This behavior is of a twofold nature: (i) it is adaptive, which means that herdsmen anticipate on events based on their memories of past events, and (ii) it is rational, because the herdsmen invest in collecting available information which they integrate in their planning of activities. In this way, the strategies for spatial adaptation of the transhumant livestock keepers remain based on three principles: (i) only the livestock routes which are managed, and on which a substantial experience has been accumulated, are regularly monitored, (ii) any changes in the livestock routes are not systematic, frequent or drastic, and (iii) radical changes in the livestock routes are only made in case of a severe crisis, when the survival of the herd is under threat. Hence, the approach is a community-based system for monitoring and early-warning, connected to an information network, which allows to prevent crises in the short term.

The monitoring system has three objectives: (i) to establish a communal lifestyle which contributes to the sustainable management of natural resources through an extensive production system, (ii) secure food supplies for livestock and people (in quantity and quality, and on a permanent basis) throughout the year, using basically available natural resources (water and grazing land), (iii) to establish an early-warning system for the prevention and management of drought risks and acute food crises, based on criteria of vulnerability of livestock and people. The approach follows six stages: (i) preparatory work in collecting information to determine the livestock routes, (ii) performing the livestock route, while exchanging information with the other herdsmen, (iii) temporary settlement in the area of transhumance, (iv) preparatory work for the return journey and collecting information to determine the route, (v) performing the livestock route and information exchange with the other herdsmen, and (vi) return to the region of origin and exchange of information with the other herdsmen.

2.3 Photos of the Approach

General remarks regarding photos:

The images show the activities of livestock keepers in the management of their herds and the exchange of information in periodic meetings.

2.5 Country/ region/ locations where the Approach has been applied

Country:

Niger

Region/ State/ Province:

Region of Tillabéri, Departments of Abala, Banibangou and Fillingué

Further specification of location:

The approach is implemented in the entire region of Tillabéri and beyond, as far as in Nigeria and in Benin.

Comments:

The approach was implemented in the pastoral zone of the Region of Tillabéri in general, and in the depertments of Abala, Bani Bangou and Fillingué in particular. The livestock routes go beyond this zone (into Nigeria, Benin, Burkina Faso).

2.6 Dates of initiation and termination of the Approach

Indicate year of initiation:

2014

Comments:

The approach goes back several centuries. It is has been adapted progressively according to developments in the organisational framework and communication techniques. In Niger, it has been strengthened by interventions of the State and its external development partners (national and international NGOs, bilateral and multilateral development agencies, etc.). We differentiate between the approach itself and the support for its implementation provided by the development partners.

2.7 Type of Approach

  • traditional/ indigenous

2.8 Main aims/ objectives of the Approach

The main aims of the approach are:
- To establish a community lifestyle which contributes to the sustainable management of natural resources through an extensive production system.
- To secure food provision for livestock and people, of sufficient quantity and quality and on a continuous basis throughout the year, derived basically from available natural resources (water and grazing land).
- To establish an early-warning system capable of ensuring the prevention and management of drought risks and acute food crises, focused on vulnerability criteria relating to both livestock and people.

2.9 Conditions enabling or hindering implementation of the Technology/ Technologies applied under the Approach

social/ cultural/ religious norms and values
  • enabling

The approach is based on socio-cultural and religious standards and values of the local populations. For these local populations, pastoralism is a way of life.

  • hindering

The Muslim religion increasingly hinders women to participate in the implementation of the technology with the men.

availability/ access to financial resources and services
  • enabling

The approach is based on mobility, which is conditioned on the availability of and the access to natural resources. Even though the approach does not directly promote financial services, it does not hinder their development. The development of livestock trade has undeniably enabled the development of financial products close to the livestock markets, like the transfer of resources and the monetarization of trade.

  • hindering

The lack of resources resulting from the poverty, and especially the lack of any financial support in the pastoral zone, hamper the implementation of the technology.

institutional setting
  • enabling

The approach strengthens community-based organizations of livestock keepers, land commissions at the level of villages or tribes, local, departmental and regional land commissions, and the regional institutional framework for the management of pastoral resources.

  • hindering

The weak institutional capacities of the livestock keepers significantly impair the implementation of the technology. In other words, the organisations of livestock keepers generally do not function well.

collaboration/ coordination of actors
  • enabling

The approach focuses on the coordination among the livestock keepers. Above all, it results in strengthening the coordination between all the actors at the various levels of implementation. It fosters the coexistence of livestock keepers and farmers.

legal framework (land tenure, land and water use rights)
  • enabling

This approach enabled the development of a legal framework on pastoralism through the adoption of the regulation 2010-029 on pastoralism by the council of ministers. The legal framework provided the basis for the present regulatory framework on pastoralism.

policies
  • enabling

This approach accounts for the implementation of the decentralization process in the pastoral zone, and fosters the political empowerment of this region, which has been marginalized for a long time by the State and its development partners.

  • hindering

The system of corruption existing in the political environment often impedes the implementation of the technology by the diversion of resources allocated to sustainable land management in the pastoral zone.

land governance (decision-making, implementation and enforcement)
  • enabling

The approach has helped to significantly improve land governance and to directly involve the pastoralist populations in the decision-making at all levels. From now on the framework for land ownership in the pastoral zone is explicitly defined. There is still resistance among the majority of politicians to enforce the laws effectively.

knowledge about SLM, access to technical support
  • enabling

This approach is based on the dissemination and application of good practices for sustainable land management and rangeland management in the livestock sector. During the transhumance, the livestock keepers benefit from training, generally organised by the land commissions, and have access to technical support on the legal framework in particular.

markets (to purchase inputs, sell products) and prices
  • enabling

This approach contributes to the development of markets for livestock and inputs (animal feed). The movements of livestock ensure a greater access of livestock keepers to weekly markets, on the one hand to sell their animals, and on the other hand to purchase food supplies for their families (cereals, mainly millet).

workload, availability of manpower
  • enabling

This approach generally results in an increase in workload and in the employment of the full manpower throughout the year. However, sequential periods of droughts have transformed most of the livestock keepers into simple herders working for large owners of livestock (military officers, officials, politicians). The droughts also drove livestock keepers who lost their herds to settle in the large cities, offering their labor force as watchmen.

3. Participation and roles of stakeholders involved

3.1 Stakeholders involved in the Approach and their roles

  • local land users/ local communities

The male and female transhumant livestock keepers and the agropastoralists of the pastoral and agricultural zones. These people include pastoralists (Peulh and Tuareg). The agropastoralists in the agricultural zone are Hausa, Zarma and Sonrhaï people, whose main activity is farming (rainfed agriculture and horticulture). These agricultural populations have developed a zero-grazing system in parallel (for cattle and small ruminants).

The male livestock keepers lead the transhumance operations, make decisions on the livestock routes, collect and exchange information, and track the herds. The men are responsible for visiting the weekly markets to sell animals (often small ruminants) and to purchase cereals for subsistence along the way. The female livestock keepers are in charge of household work, of managing the family food supplies, marketing dairy products, the purchase of condiments and taking care of small ruminants (mainly goats). They buy the condiments with the income generated from the sale of dairy products. They also manage and transport tents and arrange the full logistics required to organize the movements of the herds (usually while riding a donkey). Children assist the female livestock keepers, in particular by watching the animals which stay around the camp during the transhumance. In the Tuareg population the women mainly perform household work. The male agropastoralists, who generally own land in the agricultural zone, conclude contracts with the transhumant livestock keepers on the use of the fields (to fertilise their fields in exchange for the feeding of the livestock on the crop residues left in the fields, or by a payment in cereals or in cash).
They follow the movement of the herds, particularly in critical periods (start of the rainy season, the harvest period, the dry season related to the horticultural production), they file complaints with the local authorities against transhumant livestock keepers in case of damage to fields or conflicts, and provide various kinds of support during the stay in the region where the transhumance takes place (offering waged labour for herding local animals, barter exchange of animal feed or cereals for dairy products). The female livestock keepers often carry out paid services for agropastoralist women from the agricultural zone in the south (various types of work related to livestock keeping). The men and women who were originally livestock keepers in the south, increasingly become agricultural producers in the pastoral zone, thus challenging the legislation on land use in this region, which is characterized by pastoralism solely. Conflicts in the pastoral zone are mainly caused by these farmers, who generally occupy the grazing areas.

  • community-based organizations

The community-based organizations which are involved in the implementation of the approach are the local committees (villages/regions of origin) of the Association for Revitalising the Livestock Sector in Niger (AREN). These local committees consist of male and female livestock keepers. The traditional Peulh and Tuareg structures are also important stakeholders in the implementation of the approach. The livestock keepers organize themselves increasingly in producer cooperatives.

The local committees of AREN and the traditional structures ensure the engagement of livestock keepers in the entire pastoral zone. They also carry out the monitoring and evaluation of the activities by organizing meetings for the exchange of information. They coordinate the activities of stakeholders and actors during the transhumance. They function as an interface between the livestock keepers and the development partners and State institutions. The local committees of AREN rely on the traditional structures to implement their activities of engaging and informing people, awareness raising and training. The cooperatives of livestock keepers generally receive external aid, particularly in terms of animal feed, food aid, and various infrastructures. The cooperatives also organize the training of livestock keepers.

  • SLM specialists/ agricultural advisers

The SLM specialists and agricultural advisers involved in the implementation of the approach are the experts in pastoralism from AREN and ACF Dakar, the experts in SLM and pastoralism from GREAD, the national experts from the departmental and communal technical services on environment, agriculture, livestock keeping, water services and the rural code (land commissions at the level of villages/tribes and at the local and departmental level).

The experts in pastoralism from AREN and ACF support the livestock keepers in adapting (improving the efficiency of) the approach through a project financed by the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation. They ensure the implementation of the project and the monitoring and evaluation of the project activities. The experts on SLM and pastoralism from GREAD have studied the approach, the conditions for its adaptation, and identified the relationships with the DNPGCCA. The experts from the departmental and communal technical services, each within their area of expertise, support the livestock keepers and the experts from ACF and AREN in carrying out the project. They contribute to the monitoring and evaluation and to the technical management of the project activities. These technical services are represented in the communal land commissions.

  • researchers

A researcher of GREAD participated in the monitoring and evaluation of the activities in the approach. Researchers from the University Abdou Moumouni Dioffo of Niamey and ICRISAT (a program of ILRI at the Sahelian centre of Sadoré) have been performing research on this approach for several decades.

The following tasks were defined in the first place for the researcher from GREAD: (i) to make an in depth review of similar initiatives and to integrate recommendations based on lessons learned from these, and (ii) to make a technical and financial assessment of alternative systems to monitor the movements of pastoralists in the Sahelian zone. In the second place, it was recommended to: (i) design a robust and replicable method to implement a system to monitor the movements of transhumant livestock keepers in the Sahel, in a pilot zone in Niger, with the following functionalities: (i) to generate information and implement tools for information management, (ii) to assess the limitations to implementing the methodology (security, costs associated with the distances to be covered and with the frequency of data collection), (iii) develop a detailed plan to implement the pilot phase in an agropastoral zone in Niger, to be determined, (iv) contribute to the drafting of a list of indicators for monitoring and early-warning which could be generated by the monitoring system, (v) to ensure that the monitoring system for the movements is compatible with the existing tools for the monitoring of pastoralism. The researchers from the University of Niamey and ILRI/ICRISAT contribute to the understanding of the impact of the approach on the sustainable management of natural resources. These research institutes have published several articles on the approach.

  • teachers/ school children/ students

Several teachers-researchers and students from Niger, from the wider region and from other continents have chosen research themes related to the approach.

Several studies have been performed on this approach to improve the understanding on its functioning, its characteristics, and its socio-economic and ecological and environmental impacts.

  • NGO

The national NGO AREN is the national structure involved in the adaptation and strengthening of the approach.

AREN has developed a project together with ACF, which submitted it for funding to the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation. AREN performs the monitoring, evaluation and coordination of the activities. The NGO provides its technical expertise to livestock keepers during the execution of project activities in the field.

  • private sector

The weekly markets in the areas of transhumance are an important component in the implementation of the approach.

The weekly markets are commercial centers for the marketing of livestock, particularly for the transhumant livestock keepers in need of supplies of cereals and condiments during the journey and during their stay in the grazing areas. These markets enable livestock keepers to exchange information with other livestock keepers who practice transhumance in the area. The weekly markets are a key link in the information flow between the livestock keepers.

  • local government

The municipalities and departments are stakeholders in the approach.

The land commissions and communal commissions ensure the prevention and management of conflicts between transhumant livestock keepers and the local indigenous population. The security of the livestock and of the livestock keepers is under the responsibility of the defence and security forces, which in turn are under the responsibility of the prefects (heads of departments). The municipalities monitor the livestock keepers and their activities. The mayors, in their function of legal police officers, contribute to the compliance with the existing rules on transhumance. The departments have sub-regional committees for disaster prevention and management which support the livestock keepers every year by financing micro-projects following the approaches of work for food and/or cash. The municipalities are the main beneficiaries of these investments in SLM.

  • national government (planners, decision-makers)

Ministry of Livestock or Animal Resources. This is the main governmental body responsible for the development of the livestock sector in Niger. Similarly, the DNPGCCA/Prime Minister’s Office, which manages the System for early warning and disaster prevention, is a stakeholder in this approach.

The Ministry of Livestock formulates the national policy in the livestock sector. It determines the procedures for supporting transhumant livestock keepers and drafts the legislation governing the movements in the practice of transhumance, submitting these for approval to the National Assembly. The Ministry mobilizes domestic and international resources to build the infrastructure needed to implement the transhumance (wells for use by pastoralists, corridors, development of grazing areas, etc.). The departmental and regional directorates of livestock are the offices of the Ministry of Livestock respectively in the departments and regions. These offices guide the livestock keepers, provide technical support, and ensure the monitoring and evaluation of the grazing land and the livestock (the full range of animal resources). The offices regularly provide information on the animal health and on the availability of grazing land in the area where transhumance is practiced. The Ministry of Livestock is one of the main institutions which drive the national mechanism for the prevention and management of disasters and food crises in the pastoral zone.

  • international organization

The organisation ‘Action Against Hunger’ (ACF) and the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation

The ACF supported AREN in the development of the project plan. The ACF obtained funding from the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation, the financial partner of the project. The ACF ensures the monitoring and evaluation of the project activities, and especially the external technical supervision. The Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation has financed the project. In this capacity, the foundation participates in the external auditing of the financial management of the project.

If several stakeholders were involved, indicate lead agency:

The approach is implemented by the livestock keepers. All the mentioned institutions are direct partners of the livestock keepers. In the field, the regional and departmental directorates and the communal technical services of the livestock sector are the leading agencies. At the level of the project, AREN is the lead agency in Niger.

3.2 Involvement of local land users/ local communities in the different phases of the Approach
Involvement of local land users/ local communities Specify who was involved and describe activities
initiation/ motivation self-mobilization The implementation of the approach is driven by the livestock keepers themselves. The approach remains in fact traditional; it is a combination of local know-how. The adaptation project was initiated by ACF in partnership with AREN. But the livestock keepers themselves have started to adapt the approach by using mobile phones and satellite phones.
planning self-mobilization The planning of activities is done by each transhumant livestock keeper, who determines the technical, spatial and temporal procedures of the transhumance. On the other hand, the planning of the adaptation project for the approach falls within the competence of AREN and ACF, in partnership with the livestock keepers and the researchers from GREAD. The Ministry of Livestock plans interventions by the State and development partners in cooperation with the other actors in the sector.
implementation self-mobilization The approach is carried out from start to end by the livestock keepers only. The livestock keepers cooperate with other partners in the implementation of the project activities: the technicians of the communal services for livestock and of AREN. Experts from GREAD conducted the baseline study for the project in together with the livestock keepers and the experts from AREN and ACF. The Ministry of livestock and the institutions of the DNPGCCA carry out their regular activities of informing, awareness raising, investment and training directly or by means of other structures (local and international NGOs).
monitoring/ evaluation interactive Every livestock keeper performs monitoring and evaluation of his activities using his own tools. At the level of the project, the experts from AREN and the communal technicians carry out the monitoring and evaluation, using a mechanism identified in the baseline study from GREAD. Similarly, ACF monitors and evaluates the activities based on the objectives and internal indicators. Finally, the Ministry of livestock and its regional, sub-regional and local bodies undertake regular missions to collect information on the availability of grazing land, animal health, and on other vulnerability indicators of the pastoral zone. There are also regular meetings to monitor and evaluate the situation in the livestock sector among all stakeholders in the framework of the DNPGCCA/the Prime Minister’s Office.

3.3 Flow chart (if available)

Description:

The system for monitoring and early warning for pastoral areas is a network of transhumant herdsmen functioning as contact persons. These herdsmen are responsible for transmitting information to a communal centre for monitoring and early warning. Some of the information is continuously forwarded, while other information is forwarded at intervals determined by the movements of the herd. The main functions of the centre are to collect, manage, process and disseminate the data at the local, regional and national level.
This system complements directly:
- All the other monitoring systems focused on earth observation, including the system from ACF, in information production and forecasting. The project coordination is responsible for conveying all the information generated by the Geographical Information System from the ACF to the various links of the monitoring framework.
- The National Mechanism for Early Warning in its structure and institutional framework at the local, regional and national level. The system for monitoring and early warning for pastoral areas (SAP) builds on the structures of this national mechanism: the national Coordination of the SAP, the regional committee of the SAP in the region of Tillabéri and the sub-regional committee of the SAP of Abala. It should be emphasized that the local monitoring centre is managed by the Communal livestock officer, who represents the SAP at the local level.
The scheme describes how the system is organised:
- Every municipality is subdivided in several village/pastoral communities corresponding to the regions of origin and the regions of destination. These territories are identified based on predefined criteria in a process of extensive consultation with the local population, the municipalities and the prefecture. Every village/pastoral community installs a local management committee for the mechanism. The main functions of this committee include: (i) mobilize the local population in implementing the monitoring activities; (ii) supervise the herdsmen, and (iii) sustain the monitoring mechanism. The project should by no means impose a village/pastoral territory on the local populations; it should remain neutral in the decision making and show the feasible options considering the available resources.
- The contact persons of the transhumant livestock keepers are selected in every village/pastoral territory by the local populations under the supervision of the local committees, based on their experience and morality. The number of contact persons – which should not be larger than four (depending on the potential directions of the transhumance – north, south, east, west) - is determined by the number of routes for the transhumance which are considered significant by the local populations, who indicate their preferred selection criteria.
- Every ‘contact herdsman’ for the transhumant livestock keepers receives a technical monitoring device and the logistical arrangements he needs to function during the period of the transhumance. The incentive for the contact herdsman is a monthly allowance to call his parents and friends.
- Every municipality disposes of monitoring kit consisting of a laptop, a printer and a smartphone, which allows to obtain the GPS-coordinates of each herdsman automatically and in real-time, as well as information on the vulnerability of the transhumant herdsmen. A database in Excel format is developed to manage and process the data and to generate fact sheets for information purposes and early-warning.
Two types of technical monitoring devices are implemented:
- Type 1 (in the zones with GSM network coverage): a cell phone with GPS, the geolocation of which is captured by the communal monitoring device. It works with a SIM card of the mobile phone company Airtel, which provides the best network coverage over the country. The cell phone has a solar charger which keeps the cell phone battery running on a continuous basis.
- Type 2 (in the zones without GSM network coverage): a mobile phone SAMSUNG S4 with a ‘satsleeve’ adapter enables to perform the monitoring in the areas without network coverage using satellite connections. The mobile phone also has a solar charger. The herdsmen carrying this device perform a route running from the northern pastoral zone in Niger to the grazing areas in northern Mali.

Author:

Abdoulaye Sambo Soumaila

3.4 Decision-making on the selection of SLM Technology/ Technologies

Specify who decided on the selection of the Technology/ Technologies to be implemented:
  • all relevant actors, as part of a participatory approach
Explain:

The technologies applied in the context of this approach generally ensure the conservation of water and grazing land and the non-violent mitigation of conflicts through a regulated access to resources (for example firebreaks, corridors, pastoral half-moons, micro- and macro-basins, etc.). In theory, decisions are made in the framework of a participatory approach; all actors gather to decide on the types of technology to implement. But it must be acknowledged that in the framework of the DNPGCCA/the Prime Minister's Office, decisions are primarily taken by the administrative authorities without consulting the livestock keepers and their organizations. Several development projects operate without consulting the local populations and the local technical services beforehand. Thus there are two types of technology: (i) technologies decided upon by the livestock keepers themselves with the support from SLM specialists, and (ii) other technologies (the overall majority), for which the decision to implement these only result from a project, a NGO or from a technical structure of the public administration.

Specify on what basis decisions were made:
  • evaluation of well-documented SLM knowledge (evidence-based decision-making)
  • personal experience and opinions (undocumented)

4. Technical support, capacity building, and knowledge management

4.1 Capacity building/ training

Was training provided to land users/ other stakeholders?

Yes

Specify who was trained:
  • land users
  • field staff/ advisers
If relevant, specify gender, age, status, ethnicity, etc.

In the context of the project by ACF/AREN, transhumant livestock keepers have been trained in the use of cell phones, and particularly in the monitoring system. They all belong to the ethnic group of the Peulh and are young men (less than 40 years). Two community workers on livestock have been trained to handle the computer equipment (device for the collection, processing and dissemination of the data). These are young men (less than 40 years). It is important to stress that the livestock keepers transfer their knowledge in a traditional hands-on training from generation to generation. This training, which ensures the transfer of knowledge to younger generations, enables to continue the approach.

Form of training:
  • on-the-job
  • demonstration areas
  • courses
Subjects covered:

The training of the livestock keepers covered the structure of the monitoring system for the movement of the herds and for early-warning. The training consisted of two components: (i) a component ‘superstructure of the mechanism’ and (ii) a material component on the handling of the mobile phones. Similarly, the two livestock officers of the communes of Sanam and Abala were trained on the mechanism to centralise, manage and disseminate the information. In this context they were trained in using the computer equipment which had been provided. All the trainings took place in several phases. In addition, under the framework of micro-projects financed by the Food Crisis Unit (CCA)/the Prime Minister’s Office, training was provided to the livestock keepers on community life and on the implementation of technologies on soil and water conservation and soil protection and restoration.

Comments:

In the context of the project by ACF/AREN, the trained persons are trainers, who obtained the capabilities required to train other livestock keepers and other field technicians. At the level of the micro-projects from the CCA/Prime Minister's Office, training programs are an essential component of the investments, usually performed by the NGOs and the associations of livestock keepers. The NGO AREN remains one of the beneficiaries of these micro-projects, which are carried out every year since 2004.

4.2 Advisory service

Do land users have access to an advisory service?

Yes

Specify whether advisory service is provided:
  • at permanent centres
Describe/ comments:

During the implementation of the project by the organisations ACF and AREN, a communal centre was created in each municipality to manage the collection, processing and dissemination of information. This centre also functions as a structure for support and advice for the livestock keepers, who can obtain technical support, training and advice at any moment. AREN regularly reinforces the capacities of these communal centres. The centres also take care of the maintenance of the equipment. Land commissions have been installed at the communal and village/tribal level, which provide ongoing guidance and support to the livestock keepers. Finally, the technical communal services for livestock keeping remain permanent centres for support and advice to livestock keepers.

4.3 Institution strengthening (organizational development)

Have institutions been established or strengthened through the Approach?
  • yes, greatly
Specify the level(s) at which institutions have been strengthened or established:
  • local
  • regional
  • national
Describe institution, roles and responsibilities, members, etc.

At the local level, the approach has resulted in the creation of:
- Two centres for the local monitoring of the movements of herds, in the municipalities of Abala and Sanam. Each centre is managed by the Head of the communal livestock service and has one operating official.
- Land commissions at the level of villages or tribes aiming at the non-violent mitigation of conflicts resulting from the exploitation of natural resources. These commissions consist of: the head of the village or tribe, the Secretary, one representative of the farmers, two representatives of the livestock keepers (one of whom represents the transhumant livestock keepers, if any), one representative of other users of natural resources (the users of timber, hunters, fishermen, etc.), two representatives of women, and one of young people. However, in the pastoral zone, the different groups of livestock keepers are effectively involved in the land commissions at the level of the village or tribe. For instance, the commission could have representatives of herders of camelids, cattle and small ruminants. The communal land commission (COFOCOM) is composed of: the President, who is the Mayor in service of the municipality, the Permanent Secretary, generally the General Secretary of the municipality, other communal councillors (including one woman in three councillors for the municipalities with 11 to 20 councillors, and four female councillors for the municipalities with more than 20 councillors), and the heads of the technical services. The latter have competence in the following fields: agriculture, livestock, environment, hydraulic operations, agricultural engineering, land management, community development, land registry, state affairs, literacy, social development and the advancement of women. The land commission also includes: the heads of counties or associations, who have jurisdiction over the communal area, a representative of the farmers, two representatives of the livestock keepers (one of whom represents the transhumant livestock keepers, if any), two representatives of women, one of young people, one representative of timber users, and one representative of the committees managing water abstraction points. The Ordinance No 098/MDA/CNCR/SP of 25 November 2005 concerns the organisation, the responsibilities and the operating procedures of the land commissions at the level of the communes, villages or tribes (Ministry of agricultural development).
- At the local level, the approach has strengthened the capacities of communal organisations of livestock keepers in the department of Abala (cooperatives, women’s groups, associations and traditional organisations of livestock keepers). Furthermore, the local structures of AREN have been strengthened by training on community life, community-based management of pastoral resources, etc.
At the departmental level, the approach has strengthened the capacities of the sub-regional Committee for the prevention and management of disasters and food crises of the department of Abala. The part on pastoralism is better defined and now has specific indicators which are better adapted to the context of the pastoral zone. A departmental land commission was also installed. The approach has also resulted in the development of local NGOs involved in the livestock sector, and was integrated as a tool for the sustainable management of pastoral resources.
At the regional level, a steering committee was established for the monitoring mechanism in Tillabéri. This is the main decision-making body of the mechanism. The approach was also accompanied by the establishment of a regional Permanent secretary for the Rural Code.
At the national level, the approach strengthened the DNPGCCA in the pastoral zone by determining indicators of vulnerability adapted to the context of the zone, and by considering specific factors of the livestock sector, in particular regarding climate change and resilience to crises.

Specify type of support:
  • financial
  • capacity building/ training
  • equipment
Give further details:

Financial support for the approach is provided by the State and its technical and financial partners in the context of response to crises, in particular by the funding of micro-projects on SLM (by the Food Crisis Unit/the Prime Minister’s Office, one of the essential bodies of the DNPGCCA). Every year, local NGOs implement programs for financial support to micro-projects on soil and water conservation works and works for soil protection and restoration, according to the approaches of cash or food for work for vulnerable populations, which include the transhumant livestock keepers. In the pastoral zone, these projects concern the construction and maintenance of firebreaks, half-moons in grazing land and livestock corridors, which are conducted in parallel with investments in hydraulic and socio-economic infrastructure (wells for pastoral use, schools and health centres in the pastoral zone), and with the distribution of animal feed (free or at low cost).
Support for capacity building and training is provided by all partners, that is AREN, the local NGOs, financed by the CCA/Prime Minister’s Office, the technical services at communal and departmental level on environment, agricultural engineering, livestock and agriculture, development projects in the livestock sector and the Permanent secretary for the Rural Code. The capacity building focuses on technical facilities (administration, communication, etc.) and on techniques for management and organisation. The training addresses especially the regulations in force (the Pastoral Code), the implementation of technologies for soil and water conservation and soil protection and restoration, and new approaches in sustainable land management.

4.4 Monitoring and evaluation

Is monitoring and evaluation part of the Approach?

Yes

Comments:

Monitoring and evaluation is an integral part of the approach, consisting of the monitoring of a set of indicators on vulnerability in the pastoral zone, which enable to promptly assess and prevent crises. Pastoralists have their own vulnerability criteria, which were identified in several research projects. These indicators were formally incorporated within the DNPGCCA.

If yes, is this documentation intended to be used for monitoring and evaluation?

Yes

Comments:

This documentation is a summary of the reports on the monitoring and evaluation carried out since the completion of the study performed by GREAD in September 2014.

4.5 Research

Was research part of the Approach?

Yes

Specify topics:
  • sociology
  • economics / marketing
  • ecology
  • technology
Give further details and indicate who did the research:

GREAD has conducted socio-economic, ecological/environmental and technological research on the approach. Subsequently, the University Abdou Moumouni of Niamey has carried out research on ecological impact assessment. Several research projects are still ongoing to understand and improve the approach.

5. Financing and external material support

5.1 Annual budget for the SLM component of the Approach

If precise annual budget is not known, indicate range:
  • > 1,000,000
Comments (e.g. main sources of funding/ major donors):

On the one hand it is not possible to estimate the costs of the technologies implemented by the livestock keepers themselves, because there is no cost assessment of the outcomes. On the other hand, the investments by the development partners in the framework of the DNPGCCA and investments independent from this framework amount to more than 1.000.000 $ US per year in Niger since 2004. The main donors of the DNPGCCA are: UNICEF, PNUD, FAO, PAM, the European Union, the USA, Germany, Spain, Luxemburg, Switzerland, Italy, and France. A common fund for contributions from the partners of the DNPGCCA was established, which enables Niger to finance the prevention and management of crises every year.

5.2 Financial/ material support provided to land users

Did land users receive financial/ material support for implementing the Technology/ Technologies?

Yes

If yes, specify type(s) of support, conditions, and provider(s):

In the framework of the project of the ACF/AREN, 16 livestock keepers received GSM phones, which were purchased from a Spanish organisation called ARGONGRA. These telephones are exempted from import taxes.

5.3 Subsidies for specific inputs (including labour)

  • none
 
  • labour
To which extent Specify subsidies
tools partly financed As part of the micro-projects of the CCA/Prime Minister's Office, small equipment (spades, hammers, rakes, wheelbarrows, chisels, etc.) are entirely financed and handed over to the management committees which were installed to maintain the structures. All the tools which are purchased by the livestock keepers on their own initiative are funded from their own resources.
GSM phones partly financed In the project from ACF/AREN, simple GSM phones with a single SIM-card were distributed to selected livestock keepers for performing the project activities. The livestock keepers have their own GSM phones, which they purchased from their own resources.
  • equipment
Specify which inputs were subsidised To which extent Specify subsidies
seeds partly financed The implementation of certain technologies, like tree-lined half-moons or bunds, often requires seeding of plants on the structures or the plantation of trees. The purchase and/or the production of seeds and seedlings are financed by the CCA/Prime Minister's Office. Several livestock keepers produce forage seed and tree seedlings on their own initiative to meet their requirements for sustainable land management without any external support.
Animal feed partly financed Every year, the State sells animal feed (wheat bran) to livestock keepers in the pastoral zone at reduced prices. Because the available stock is insufficient to meet the needs, livestock keepers are forced to buy animal feed on the market using their own resources.
  • agricultural
Specify which inputs were subsidised To which extent Specify subsidies
stone partly financed As part of the micro-projects of the CCA/Prime Minister's Office, construction materials needed for the implementation of soil and water conservation measures and measures for soil protection and restoration are financed: the stones used for the treatment of river beds or the construction of stone bunds are entirely financed by the CCA/Prime Minister's Office. The livestock keepers also finance by themselves some soil and water conservation measures which require dry stone constructions.
gabions fully financed As part of the micro-projects of the CCA/Prime Minister's Office, gabions are financed to implement check dams for the treatment of river beds and banks. In that case the livestock keepers do not use the gabions in their know-how.
  • construction
Specify which inputs were subsidised To which extent Specify subsidies
roads fully financed The CCA/Prime Minister's Office fully funds the construction of rural roads (gravel roads) using high-intensity labour projects, following the approach of cash or food for work.
schools fully financed Several development partners and the State fully finance the establishment of schools in the pastoral zone, either in the form of high-intensity labour projects following the approach cash or food for work, or by a selected specialized company.
pastoral wells fully financed Several development partners and the State fully finance the construction of pastoral wells, generally by specialized companies.
  • infrastructure
Specify which inputs were subsidised To which extent Specify subsidies
If labour by land users was a substantial input, was it:
  • voluntary
Comments:

Livestock keepers provided labour for the implementation of the approach on a voluntary basis, because the approach is part of the private management of the herds. However, in the micro-projects and in other interventions by partners, labour by land users is directly paid by means of cash or food for work, and/or incentives (technical support, training, sale of cereals and animal feed at affordable prices, free distribution of food supplies, etc.).

5.4 Credit

Was credit provided under the Approach for SLM activities?

No

5.5 Other incentives or instruments

Were other incentives or instruments used to promote implementation of SLM Technologies?

No

6. Impact analysis and concluding statements

6.1 Impacts of the Approach

Did the Approach empower local land users, improve stakeholder participation?
  • No
  • Yes, little
  • Yes, moderately
  • Yes, greatly

The objective of the approach is to strengthen the capacities of the livestock keepers and agropastoralists to use the local know-how for herd management and to monitor pastoral activities. It is essentially based on the self-reliance of the local land users. In the approach, the transhumant livestock keepers are external land users during part of the year (when they are outside their region of origin). The approach is implemented by the transhumant livestock keepers in partnership with other actors independently. Consequently, the approach has significantly improved the participation of other stakeholders through the institutional framework of the DNPGCCA and the various meetings at the local, departmental, sub-regional and national level between all the stakeholders of the approach.

Did the Approach enable evidence-based decision-making?
  • No
  • Yes, little
  • Yes, moderately
  • Yes, greatly

In its adapted version, the approach entails the collection of information and data in the field, and transferring these to a local centre, which is responsible for processing the data in real-time and disseminating the results to all the actors in the livestock sector at the local level (municipality and village), and at the departmental, regional and national levels. The equipment that was made available to the livestock keepers and in the local centres for the monitoring of pastoralism, enables the collection, assessment and dissemination of good quality information, which is used to make decisions on the early warning for crises in the pastoral zone. This approach has promoted the development of methods to estimate the quantity of available palatable biomass for animals based on satellite images.

Did the Approach help land users to implement and maintain SLM Technologies?
  • No
  • Yes, little
  • Yes, moderately
  • Yes, greatly

The approach has given rise to the identification of various programs to finance investments in SLM to support livestock keepers and agro-pastoralists in the periods of lean seasons and acute food crises. Consequently, one of the components of the approach is the maintenance of livestock corridors, firebreaks and other technologies implemented in the pastoral zone by the local and external land users, and also of the technologies implemented on the grazing land in the agricultural regions.

Did the Approach improve coordination and cost-effective implementation of SLM?
  • No
  • Yes, little
  • Yes, moderately
  • Yes, greatly

The approach has resulted in the implementation of a system to coordinate stakeholders at all levels (village, municipal, departmental, regional and national), and to create soil and water conservation measures and measures for soil protection and restoration in the pastoral zone. On the one side, the approach is a sustainable land management technology in itself, because it remains a traditional way to manage natural resources. In this traditional system, costs have been reduced to a minimum and the effectiveness has been maximised because the own resources of the livestock keepers are very limited. On the other side, a formal system for the coordination and implementation of SLM technologies has been progressively established, which builds on all stakeholders (generally permanent structures). At this level of the system, the cost-benefit ratio was optimised by budgetary measures and through the setting of rules on the financial management of the resources, which are provided by external development partners.

Did the Approach mobilize/ improve access to financial resources for SLM implementation?
  • No
  • Yes, little
  • Yes, moderately
  • Yes, greatly

The national mechanism for the prevention and management of disasters and food crises was set up mainly to promote a more efficient mobilisation of domestic and external resources. Therefore a common fund was created by external development partners. This fund enables to finance at the same time the functioning of the DNPGCCA structures, investments in SLM and emergency aid.

Did the Approach improve knowledge and capacities of land users to implement SLM?
  • No
  • Yes, little
  • Yes, moderately
  • Yes, greatly

Because the approach has achieved that livestock keepers and agropastoralists invest in sustainable land management themselves, it enabled thousands of land users every year to educate themselves, and thus to improve their knowledge and capacity to implement and maintain SLM technologies. One of the main objectives of the approach is to improve the knowledge and capacities of the land users in the field of SLM. Through the involvement of all stakeholders, the approach has improved knowledge and capacities on how to invest in SLM, of staff from the communal and departmental technical services (environment, livestock, land management, agriculture and water services), technicians from NGOs, policy makers and planners. On the one side, the approach strengthened the traditional community structures of livestock keepers, both in the pastoral zone and in the agricultural regions, which are the target regions for the transhumant livestock keepers. This has increased the number of organisations of livestock keepers, and their activities. On the other side, the DNPGCCA established programs to strengthen institutions to ensure the anticipation and management of disasters and food crises. These programs to strengthen institutional capacities target at the same time local NGOs, organisations of livestock keepers, public administrative institutions and the private sector. Finally the approach strengthens the relations between stakeholders, as a way to manage natural resources, and as a socio-economic system. This increases the sustainability of the approach in the long term.

A travers l'implication de toutes les parties prenantes, l'approche a permis d'améliorer les connaissances et les capacités en matière d'investissements de GDT des agents des services techniques communaux et départementaux (environnement, élevage, aménagement du territoire, agriculture et hydraulique), des techniciens des ONG, des décideurs politiques et des planificateurs.

D'une part, l'approche a permis de renforcer les structures traditionnelles communautaires des éleveurs à la fois dans la zone pastorale et dans les régions agricoles qui sont des terres d'accueil des éleveurs transhumants. De telle sorte que les organisations d'éleveurs sont devenues plus nombreuses et plus actives. D'autre part, le DNPGCCA a mis en place des programmes de renforcement des institutions assurant la prévision et la gestion des catastrophes et des crises alimentaires. ces programmes de renforcement des capacités institutionnelles s'adressent à la fois aux ONG locales, aux organisations des éleveurs, aux institutions de l'administrative publique, et au secteur privé. Enfin, l'approche, en tant que mode de gestion des ressources naturelles et surtout système socio-économique, renforce les liens entre les parties prenantes pour lui permettre d'être durable à long terme

Did the Approach mitigate conflicts?
  • No
  • Yes, little
  • Yes, moderately
  • Yes, greatly

The approach has led to the formulation and the application of laws aimed at a non-violent mitigation of conflicts, and especially to strengthen relationships between all parties involved in the management of natural resources. The approach provided the starting point for the rural code, which is at present one of the main instruments for sustainable land management and conflict mitigation in Niger.

Did the Approach empower socially and economically disadvantaged groups?
  • No
  • Yes, little
  • Yes, moderately
  • Yes, greatly

One of the principles of the approach is to ensure that all social groups have equal access to the use of natural resources by livestock keeping activities. Hence the target groups of the DNPGCCA are socially and economically disadvantaged persons. The emergency aid and cash-for-work (cash and or food) are intended to empower these vulnerable groups. However, the severe droughts and particularly the ongoing and almost chronic shortage of food and fodder have reduced the impact of the approach.

Did the Approach improve gender equality and empower women and girls?
  • No
  • Yes, little
  • Yes, moderately
  • Yes, greatly

The approach is based to a division of labour between men and women, whereas the management of herds is part of the context of family-run enterprises. The investments in SLM by the institutions of the DNPGCCA have strengthened the gender equality by giving priority to women. But social barriers still remain. Henceforth, the livestock keepers are aware of the need to empower women and girls by education. Significant progress has been achieved by the reconversion of several livestock keepers who lost their entire herds and their settlement. It is therefore not the approach which has caused these social changes.

Did the Approach encourage young people/ the next generation of land users to engage in SLM?
  • No
  • Yes, little
  • Yes, moderately
  • Yes, greatly

The approach builds essentially on the transfer of knowledge on SLM to young people and to the next generation of livestock keepers. This knowledge transfer usually operates through the system of ‘learning by doing’, which takes place during the transhumance. Also, within the DNPGCCA there are several train-the-trainer programs allowing the local populations to transfer new knowledge to younger generations.

Did the Approach improve issues of land tenure/ user rights that hindered implementation of SLM Technologies?
  • No
  • Yes, little
  • Yes, moderately
  • Yes, greatly

The approach has resulted in the implementation of the rural code, which regulates the use of resources in the agricultural and pastoral zones. The approach made it possible to identify non-violent methods to manage conflicts between livestock keepers mutually, and between livestock keepers and farmers. It has enabled to remove the constraints affecting the implementation of SLM, particularly the financial constraints, constraints related to land ownership and institutional constraints.

Did the Approach lead to improved food security/ improved nutrition?
  • No
  • Yes, little
  • Yes, moderately
  • Yes, greatly

The approach has not significantly improved the food security. It has mainly enabled the prevention and management of food and nutrition crises by ad hoc interventions. In over three decades, food insecurity has become chronic in the agricultural and pastoral zones.

Did the Approach improve access to markets?
  • No
  • Yes, little
  • Yes, moderately
  • Yes, greatly

The approach has fostered the development of weekly markets for livestock, animal feed and dairy products. Consequently livestock keepers have gained easier access to markets to sell their products and to purchase staple food (cereals). Moreover, the State arranges operations for the free distribution of food in the municipalities every year during the lean season, and for the sale of cereals (millet, maize) at affordable prices. These operations are intended to allow the most vulnerable people to access basic food.

Did the Approach lead to improved access to water and sanitation?
  • No
  • Yes, little
  • Yes, moderately
  • Yes, greatly

By promoting investments in the water engineering sector (pumping stations in the pastoral zone, wells in the grazing areas), the approach has improved the access to water, especially to drinking water. However, the approach did not have any direct impact to improve sanitation in the pastoral zone. Still, due to the progressive settlement of livestock keepers and their families, and the accelerated urbanisation in the pastoral zone, the access to sanitation is improving.

Did the Approach lead to more sustainable use/ sources of energy?
  • No
  • Yes, little
  • Yes, moderately
  • Yes, greatly

Livestock keepers increasingly use solar panels to lighten their shelters and to charge the batteries of their GSM phones. Also, the use of cooking gas in the villages of livestock keepers is increasing since 2010.

Did the Approach improve the capacity of the land users to adapt to climate changes/ extremes and mitigate climate related disasters?
  • No
  • Yes, little
  • Yes, moderately
  • Yes, greatly

The approach is a system to adapt to climate changes and to extreme climatic events. The functions of the system are to forecast crises and disasters in an early stage, and to implement the measures necessary to mitigate their effects. But despite all the available instruments for the forecasting and management of crises, the impacts of climate change remain substantial.

Did the Approach lead to employment, income opportunities?
  • No
  • Yes, little
  • Yes, moderately
  • Yes, greatly

The programs of cash or food for work conducted by the DNPGCCA facilitated the employment of several thousands of vulnerable men and women from livestock families in the pastoral zone. The approach is implemented in the context of a family-based management of animal resources. Therefore, the jobs created and the income generated are part of the family-run management of herds. However, the main income opportunities in the approach arise from the visits of the livestock keepers to the weekly markets, which offer them the possibility to sell their livestock on better financial terms.

6.2 Main motivation of land users to implement SLM

  • increased production

One of the main motivations of the approach is to secure the supply of food and water to the herds throughout the year under satisfactory conditions. In that context, it can be confirmed that the approach aims to increase the animal production, because the animal production system is generally of the type breeding-fattener (the herds consist mainly of female animals; the male animals are sold to sustain the families).

  • increased profit(ability), improved cost-benefit-ratio

The approach is a way of managing natural resources which minimizes production costs and hence creates a competitive cost-benefit ratio compared to other livestock systems, like semi-ranching or ranching, which are intensive livestock production systems.

  • reduced land degradation

The approach is a sustainable way of managing natural resources, while contributing to combat the overexploitation of grazing land and water resources, deforestation, bush fires, the destruction of vegetation cover and the loss of ligneous and herbaceous species. The approach enables to reduce land degradation through the mobility of herds: regulating the pressure of livestock on available resources, implementation and maintenance of SLM technologies.

  • reduced risk of disasters

The approach is a way of managing natural resources which, on the basis of mobility, seeks to reduce the risks of disasters like droughts and famine.
The movements of the herds enlarge the grazing area, facilitate the access to natural resources through the diversification of the grazing areas, promotes anticipation on crises in an early stage, and fast decision-making to avoid a complete loss of livestock. Also, by encouraging the implementation of SLM technologies, this approach helps to combat bush fires, deforestation, and biodiversity loss (herbaceous species), and contributes to the maintenance of vegetation cover. In this way, the approach assists in the reduction of risks arising from drought in particular.

  • rules and regulations (fines)/ enforcement

The approach is based on the rural code, that is all the rules on the exploitation and the management of natural resources (water, grazing land, land). In this context, the implementation of the approach results in the application of sanctions foreseen in this regulation to all actors, in particular the livestock keepers and agropastoralists in the agricultural and pastoral zones.

  • prestige, social pressure/ social cohesion

According to the local populations, pastoralism (the approach) is a way of life, a culture, a world view, in other words more than an economic system. From this perspective, the mobility, which continues to be an integral part of their culture, is characterized by a social organization. This organisation determines the authentic values of each of the pastoral communities (Tuareg, Peulh, etc.). However, these values are undergoing profound changes, now that these populations are adapting to new socio-economic and environmental conditions.

  • environmental consciousness

According to the local populations, the implementation of the approach is the result of an increased awareness by the pastoralist communities of the importance of the ecological balance and its long-term preservation. The natural resources are the main production factors sustaining their livelihood and their survival.

  • customs and beliefs, morals

As indicated above, pastoralism is a way of life which is determined by customs, beliefs and moral values. The latter define the specific features of this traditional approach.

  • enhanced SLM knowledge and skills

The traditional approach is not directly motivated by enhanced SLM knowledge and skills, although this is one of the objectives of the DNPGCCA. The transfer of local know-how and innovations in SLM remains significant in the traditional approach (transmission of know-how by seniors).

  • conflict mitigation

The traditional approach does not aim to mitigate conflicts. But with the establishment of the rural code, it has been increasingly oriented to the non-violent management of conflicts and their mitigation through protective measures.

6.3 Sustainability of Approach activities

Can the land users sustain what has been implemented through the Approach (without external support)?
  • yes
If yes, describe how:

The approach is originally traditional. It has been set up and developed without any external support. In this way it can be continued without the DNPGCCA and other formal structures for early warning and/or forecasting, which largely depend on external support. In that case however, the implementation of large government programs on investments in SLM will be undermined in the short and medium term.

6.4 Strengths/ advantages of the Approach

Strengths/ advantages/ opportunities in the land user’s view
The approach is indigenous and communal in nature. It was created by the local populations themselves, and is an integral part of their social and cultural values. With this approach, they have access to natural resources on an equal footing, while respecting the environmental balance.
The approach is simple, practical and pragmatic. Other interventions can be built on the approach. This flexibility is without doubt a major advantage, and made it possible that the approach has continued until now despite the many environmental, ecological and socio-economic challenges. In the end the approach is open to any adaptation and offers many possibilities for upscaling to other regions in the world.
The low costs of the approach are a major strength, making the approach more readily adopted and sustained over the longer term.
Strengths/ advantages/ opportunities in the compiler’s or other key resource person’s view
The approach is a method for the sustainable management of herds, which continues to be far more profitable than all the other systems for livestock keeping in the given environmental and socio-economic context (other conditions being equal). This approach contributes to sustainable land management by introducing behaviour towards conserving and restoring the environment at the individual and communal level.
The implementation costs of the approach remain low. In general, these relate to labour by the livestock keepers. Minimising the costs facilitates the adoption of the approach and its application at larger scales (region).
By raising the issue of the access to natural resources, and particularly their valorisation in respect of climate change, the approach has laid the foundation for a progressive adaptation of the methods to regulate natural resources. It relies on the engagement of all stakeholders and strengthens their institutional and organisational capacities. The approach is currently relocating the production towards the market to improve its efficiency.

6.5 Weaknesses/ disadvantages of the Approach and ways of overcoming them

Weaknesses/ disadvantages/ risks in the land user’s view How can they be overcome?
The approach makes it difficult to educate children and to improve the living standards of families. Building educational infrastructures in the region of origin of the transhumant livestock keepers by the State and its development partners should increase the rate of school attendance.
The approach requires significant efforts from the livestock keepers and other members of the family in terms of labour. The use of paid transhumant livestock keepers offers a solution for this problem, but the cost is a disadvantage. Moreover, the low number of reliable herders makes this solution less suitable.
The approach does not enable to address the impacts of climate change effectively and sustainably. The resources needed by the livestock keepers to invest in SLM in the pastoral zone by themselves should be made available to them.
Weaknesses/ disadvantages/ risks in the compiler’s or other key resource person’s view How can they be overcome?
There a two weaknesses in the management of herds: (i) the size of the herds not being adjusted to the availability of resources (water and grazing land), and (ii) livestock products not being valorised. The livestock keepers should move from a subsistence economy to a market economy (to produce mainly for the market).
The local know-how on SLM technologies is retained by several insiders who do not systematically transfer their knowledge to younger generations and to other members of the community. Research programs should be initiated to inventory the available local knowledge on SLM, and to disseminate this knowledge to the communities.

7. References and links

7.1 Methods/ sources of information

  • field visits, field surveys

The field campaign took place from 6 to 25 September 2014 in the department of Abala. Eight sites were selected: Aboyok (Peulh), Ikarfane (Peulh), Télimoune (Tuareg) et Zindar (Tuareg) in the rural municipality of Abala, and DigDiga (Peulh), Melès (Tuareg), BilBilo (Tuareg) and Immirizane (Peulh) in the rural municipality of Sanam.
The technical team performing this field campaign was composed of the Chief consultant (GREAD), an investogator (GREAD) and an independent guide/translator (all men); the Project manager has participated directly in the field visit through several activities of coordination and information exchange.

  • interviews with land users

The methodological tools applied included three questionnaires on livestock mobility and vulnerability of the herdsmen, on the identification of social groups and on the assessment of the forage resource.
One-to-one interviews and group work were performed in each site. Thirty male livestock keepers were interviewed in their regions of origin. About twenty women from families of transhumant livestock keepers were also interviewed.

  • interviews with SLM specialists/ experts

Fourteen experts were interviewed, including two international specialists. They contributed directly or indirectly to the preparation of the final report.

  • compilation from reports and other existing documentation

A literature research was conducted in Niamey and Abala to identify similar initiatives and to mobilize and inform the institutions involved in the sector. 54 documents were used in the research.

7.2 References to available publications

Title, author, year, ISBN:

Etude de mise en place d’un système de suivi des mouvements et stratégies d’adaptation spatiale des éleveurs transhumants en zone sahélienne (Niger), Abdoulaye Sambo Soumaila, 2014

Available from where? Costs?

GREAD, AREN, ACF Dakar (free access)

Title, author, year, ISBN:

Système de surveillance pastorale Afrique subsaharienne, ACF Dakar, 2011

Available from where? Costs?

ACF Dakar, GREAD, AREN (free access)

7.3 Links to relevant information which is available online

Title/ description:

no information available online

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