What is “Pastoral Risk Management”?

The PARIMA (Pastoral Risk Management) project, GL-CRSP friends from East Africa, has been working since 2000 on a series of novel approaches to manage risks and enhance pastoral livelihoods on the Borana Plateau, Ethiopia.  Through a combination of action-research, collection action, and capacity building programs targeting women, PARIMA has helped pastoralists diversify livelihoods away from dependence on livestock, an increasingly risky production system on the plateau due to drought, diminished grazing and water resources, and an expanding human population.  In 2009, the GL-CRSP commissioned this video on PARIMA to help others working with pastoralists learn from their experiences and better understand the available opportunities and options for improving pastoralist well-being.

Through a new Livestock-Climate Change CRSP project, HALI will be investigating ways to manage risks and enhance health and livelihoods among pastoralists in the Ruaha ecosystem of Tanzania.  By integrating research and capacity building with outreach programs and new technologies, HALI intends to strengthen livestock systems and animal health extension, improve human nutrition and health awareness, and introduce natural resource and climate change-focused curriculum into local schools. Like on the Borana plateau, pastoralism in Ruaha is threatened by climate change, expanding human populations and agricultural development, all of which impact disease dynamics and human and animal health. This new project, which will complement current HALI research investigating zoonotic disease transmission among human and animal populations in Ruaha, is now underway.  We will be posting more news and updates soon.

To learn more about pastoral risk management and the PARIMA project, and to download an educational resource for development practitioners describing PARIMA’s methods and lessons learned, visit the LCC-CRSP site.

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