Livestock production in the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) region contributes up to 44 per cent of agricultural production, with the majority of its camels, cattle, goats and sheep kept under transhumant production systems. Transhumant pastoralism is a highly productive and resilient economic system in West Africa but is facing increasing challenges. These include increasing pressure on pastoralist resources, the development of unfavourable land tenure systems, the effects of decentralization, insecurity and contradictory public policies affecting pastoralist mobility.
Under the jointly funded European Union and ECOWAS “Support to Free Movement of Persons and Migration in West Africa” (FMM West Africa) project, this study was conducted to assess how far and to what effect movement policies, legislation and practices are being applied to transhumant pastoralism and develop recommendations on how ECOWAS Member States – particularly in Mali, the Niger and Nigeria – can improve legislation and policy regarding transhumant pastoralism. This study is set to inform ECOWAS and its member states’ thinking on developing a regulatory framework for transhumant pastoralism in the ECOWAS region that is consistent with the ECOWAS Free Movement of Persons principle and responsive to the substantive changes in this sector.