Pastoralism in Peril: The Compression of Grazing Space in Senegal

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Land use patterns across Senegal's Sahelian zone are undergoing significant and rapid change. One particularly alarming aspect of this transformation is the unrelenting compression of once dynamic agro-pastoral livelihood systems into an ever more circumscribed space. The paper looks first at the agro-pastoral populations of Senegal and, in particular, at the role of mobility in reducing risk and ensuring the sustainability of their livelihood. It then discusses, region by region, the pressures on grazing lands, looking specifically at issues that have arisen (1) along the Senegal river and the Lac de Guiers, (2) in the Ferlo, (3) in the groundnut basin, (4) in the Niayes coastal region and (5) in Eastern Senegal and the Casamance. The conclusions focus on specific political and legal issues related to the maintenance of common areas necessary for agro-pastoralist livelihoods and looks at how the local populations themselves have responded to this threat to grazing strategies. (CAB Abstracts)


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Land use, Pastoral society, Population, Environmental degradation, Land development, Pastures, Agropastoral systems, Sahel, Senegal, Farm/Enterprise Scale Field Scale Watershed


Madison, Wisc.: Land Tenure Center, University of Wisconsin