The recent popularity of the term resilience in the development discourse concerning arid and semiarid lands in Africa can be traced to two major international issues. The first is climate change, concerned with how to build resilient communities in the face of increasingly extreme weather events. The other is recurrent humanitarian crises, especially traced to the most recent drought- and conflict-induced 2011 disaster in the Horn of Africa. Both of these phenomena have strong relevance for African pastoralism, which many climate-change models show will be strongly impacted. The objectives of this brief are to summarize (1) applications of a resilience framework for pastoralism, (2) key challenges to resilience among pastoralists, (3) local responses and initiatives, and (4) conclusions and development implications. The brief draws on research findings and data from northern Kenya and southern Ethiopia gathered for the Pastoral Risk Management Project (PARIMA), as well as studies from elsewhere in Africa.
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