The role of community based natural resource management in climate change adaptation in Ethiopia

Many pastoralist communities in East Africa experience persistent poverty, social and political marginalisation, land degradation and conflict (although experiences vary widely both within and between pastoral groups and pastoral areas). These are due to failures of policy and governance rather than the pastoral system itself. Pastoralism is often (wrongly) viewed as economically inefficient and environmentally destructive despite evidence that it often brings economic and environmental benefits beyond those achieved by alternative land-uses such as ranching. In addition, pastoralist livelihood systems are often more resilient to changing climatic conditions because over the years pastoralists have developed strategies to cope with difficult conditions. In many instances, pastoralists are able to positively exploit greater climate variability to increase their resilience and generate higher returns than would be the case if the environment/climate were more stable or predictable.