By Michele NORI, PASTRES project research associate
The PASTRES project is a research project dealing with pastoralism and pastoralists living in different regions of the globe, including different portions of European mountainous, inner and island areas. The project started in late 2017 and is funded by an ERC (European Research Council) Advanced Grant hosted by the ESRC STEPS Centre at the Institute of Development Studies, University of Sussex and the European University Institute in Florence.
PASTRES: Pastoralism, Uncertainty and Resilience – Global Lessons from the Margins
The project aims to learn from the ways that pastoralists respond to uncertainty, applying such ‘lessons from the margins’ to global challenges such as financial and commodity systems, critical infrastructure management, disease outbreak response, migration policy, climate change and conflict and security governance.
The projects cover land governance in Tibet, livelihood change in northern Kenya, market networks in Sardinia, absentee ownership and social differentiation in southern Tunisia, mobility practices in Gujarat, India and responses to a livestock insurance scheme in southern Ethiopia.
The project started with long training sessions on pastoralism from different perspectives, and after two years, PASTRES fieldwork activities have now begun, and PhD experiences are unfolding through six empirical cases in different regions of the globe. Hereby you can find some short videos introducing the proposed research themes.
- Giulia Simula: Sardinia’s pastoralists and uncertain markets
- Natasha Maru: Pastoralists on the move in Gujarat
- Linda Pappagallo: How do absentee investors affect pastoralists’ lives in Tunisia?
- Tahira Shariff: Resilience and the moral economy in Northern Kenya
- Masresha Taye: How do Borana’s pastoralists use livestock insurance?
- Palden Tsering: How is life changing for Tibetan pastoralists?
The interfaces between pastoralism and uncertainty
PASTRES believes that the wider society could learn from pastoral communities’ indications and lessons about ‘living with uncertainty’, as for extensive livestock breeders’ uncertainty is a resource, essential for livelihoods and at the core of grassland and livestock management.
To complement the more conceptual piece on uncertainty from prof. Scoones, two papers exploring the interfaces between pastoralists and uncertainty through a major review of the literature on pastoralism, have been published:
- Herding through uncertainties – regional perspectives: analysing the drivers of uncertainty for herders in six pastoral regions, with a specific chapter on Europe;
- Herding through uncertainties – principles and practices: where the practices, strategies and livelihoods applied by European pastoralists are compared with those of groups inhabiting other pastoral regions in the world.
Tools and results from the PASTRES project can bring added knowledge to pastoralists in mountain areas. Outcomes of the project can be complementary with the LIFE OREKA MENDIAN project, which aims at enhancing the sustainable management of mountain grasslands through pastoralism.
Comments, criticisms and inputs from your side on the project and/or on the documents will be appreciated, in case.22 January 2020