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13 Dec 2023

Pastoral Mobility in the Context of Climate Change in Mali

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Cross-border pastoralism is practiced throughout West and Central Africa. It is observed to varying degrees in all countries in the Region, where it constitutes a significant means of subsistence and ecosystem maintenance predicated on the sustainable use of vegetation and adaptive resource management. A host of factors (including insecurity, shifting environmental conditions, tighter restrictions on cross-border movements and changes in agricultural policy) have significantly altered transhumance mobility patterns, making them more unpredictable and irregular. Changing seasons, more frequent droughts and rising temperatures have had a negative impact on pastoral systems. Combined with other factors, they tend to reduce the mobility of transhumant herds. In this context, tensions and violent clashes between herders and farmers have become more frequent and intense.  

This study aims to make up for the lack of information about the impact of perceived environmental and climate changes on the decisions of herders and farmers in terms of timing and itineraries. The data on which it is based were collected over a specific period and location, and its conclusions cannot be extrapolated to all transhumant herders. The study focused on Mali’s border area with Mauritania. The data were collected from October 2021 to January 2022 by surveying 3,338 transhumant herders. 

  • Acknowledgements 
  • List of maps
  • List of tables
  • List of graphs 
  • List of figures 
  • Acronyms
  • Executive summary 
  • Introduction 
  • Transhumance in Mali: The legal framework
  • Methodology
  • General data on the transhumant herders responding to the individual survey
  • Environmental factors and tension between farmers and herders 
  • Mechanisms for attenuating the impact of climate factors in terms of tension
  • between farmers and herders 
  • Conclusion and recommendations 
  • Next steps
  • Bibliography