Monday, August 18, 2008

Let's learn something from the Maasai

The world should make more use of the skills of Africa's nomadic peoples to help combat the challenges of climate change. Pastoral communities such as the Maasai in Kenya could pass on survival skills; the Maasai have learnt over generations how to sustainably live in arid and semi-arid areas. Skills which the Maasai learned over generations roaming with their livestock across the deserts and savannas could be of huge value in adapting to climate change. Traditional pastoral systems of resource management have always included a strong adaptive element. Pastoralists have long used traditional risk-management systems. These include a range of livestock- and land-management strategies, alongside community support schemes.

Pastoralists’ experiences can offer lessons for governments and other stakeholders wishing to support climate change adaptation activities. But the Maasai and other pastoralists will need to be supported by appropriate and relevant policies. In a report released today, Survival of the Fittest, Oxfam calls for governments and development partners in the region to invest in more sustainable development polices in arid and semi-arid (ASAL) areas, which will ensure pastoralists, cope with the impact of climate change.


Shiko-Msa said...

Policies policies policies - these are the things that governments and other stakeholders should be taking very seriously but somehow they don't! We could be much further by now.

Development bodies are all over the place including Arid and Semi Arid areas but unfortunately many have nothing to show for their years of existence.

But of late I'm feeling some hope. something is happening. something is changing and policies are actually beginning to get worked on. It's never too late. If things continue like this then we shall soon be somewhere nice.

Way to go Kenya!

Rafiki said...

Shiko: You are right, there is a lot of hope for Kenya and there are plenty of opportunities, especially if we build upon the resources that are already there. Most required policies are in place or will soon be enacted. Let's make sure these policies don't gather dust in Nairobi but also get adequate financing in order to be implemented on the ground.