This article synthesises findings on various topics relating to drought strategies and land use in African pastoral systems. These include:an exploration of the ecology of african rangelandsan investigation into pastoral strategies for mitigation of droughta look at the importance of opportunistic behavior and mobility as a strategy for pastoralistsan exploration of the factors contributing to a gradual breakdown of nomadism. This section also look into: man's role in environmental degradation and the pastoral crisis; loss of traditional grazing lands and its effects; current drought policies in pastoral areasThe article concludes by making recommendations and considerations for the future. These inlcude:development of these lands must take a form more suitable to the sociological, political and ecological system to which these areas are best adaptedconventional range management techniques known to work elsewhere have had no success owing to unreliable and erratic rainfall with consequent irregular forage production. This means that in most cases it is not possible to devise a definite and regularly prescribed grazing rotationmany development plans are illsuited to peoples needs, and are therefore rejected. An example would be where development programmes emphasise cattle production in areas where camels and small stock are environmentally the best adapted speciesany developmental and environmental programme which seeks the welfare of the local pastoralists must first of all strengthen the present pastoral economy. Once the pastoral economy has been placed on a firmer and less vulnerable basis there is no reason why it cannot produce a surplus of livestock and meat for the wider economy as well as enriching the local communitydevelopment plans designed for marginal lands must also have provision for drought yearspastoralists should sell off stock rapidly when drought threatens. his has two aspects. First, pastoralists should be encouraged to sell mature male stock in good years and to save money so earned in savings accounts (where such facilities are available) for use in drought years. Second, when drought threatens auctions should be organised promptly, before livestock lose condition
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The Pastoral Development Network represents a world-wide network of researchers, administrators and extension personnel interested in the issues of pastoralism and rangelands. Between 1976 and 1996 the PDN was managed by ODI and published regular mailings including newsletters and a wide ranging series of papers on pastoralism and related issues. There were also a number of other related publications.
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