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Forced Livestock Movements, Pastoral Livelihoods and Climate Change Adaptation

This poster is one of the posters featured at the CBA9 conference 2015. For more information about CBA9, visit:

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The 9th International Conference on Community-Based Adaptation (CBA9) took place in Nairobi, Kenya, from April 24-30 2015. The CBA series of conferences focus on the latest developments in community-based adaptation to climate change. The theme of this year’s event was “Measuring and enhancing effective adaptation”, and all the posters presented at the conference were summaries of projects related to the conference theme. This poster is one of the posters featured at the conference. For more information about CBA9, visit: If you want to learn more about community based adaptation, please visit the GICBA platform on weADAPT.


Livestock production in Tanzania largely takes place in the pastoral and agro-pastoral sector. These sectors supply 95% of the meat and 70% of the milk to the country.

The livestock sector fulfils multiple roles:

  • Securing livelihoods
  • Generating surplus income
  • Acting as a climate change adaptation tool through mobility

Pastoral production systems are challenged in many parts of the country by:

  • Shortage of natural grazing and water
  • Migration of pastoral grazing into other areas e.g. wetlands or croplands
  • Pastoral grazing being converted to other uses

Conflicts around natural resources and land degradation increase.

The Story:

Pastoralist herds from the Central Plains moved into the Usangu wetlands in central Tanzania in search for grazing.

The wetlands feed the Great Ruaha River and two large water reservoirs.

Studies confirmed a causal link of upstream wetland utilisation by pastoralists and the declining water level in the reservoirs.

In 2007 the Government of Tanzania evicted a larger number of pastoralists from the wetlands to an area in the South of the country.

A counter study identified intensified rice production and dry season agriculture as the major cause for decreasing water levels.

Pastoralists in their new environment suffered as they lost many animals on transit, they were not welcome by the farming community and neither sector service structures nor sector planning existed in the new areas.

The ability of pastoral herds to migrate in order to adapt to changing contexts, for example due to climate change, was reduced.

Conflicts around resource use and ethnicity erupted and land degradation started.


This poster was produced by Udo Hoeggel, Centre for Development and Environment (CDE), University of Bern, Switzerland.

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