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Crossing boundaries Photo: FAO

Crossing boundaries: Legal and policy arrangements for cross-border pastoralism

Pastoralism has been broadly defined as “extensive livestock production in the rangelands” and it is practiced throughout the world in response to certain ecological conditions. While there is considerable diversity in pastoralism worldwide, there are also a number of common features, such as herd mobility and herd diversity, and these commonalities point to a common logic underlying this unique system of land use. In its various forms, pastoralism occupies about one-third of all land on earth, providing high-value livestock products while simultaneously protecting a vast area of natural heritage.

In many countries, pastoralism has historically been practiced in areas that are now partitioned by international boundaries. This is a major barrier to sustainable resource management and to pastoral development. There is, however, a growing recognition of the rationale of mobility for sustainable pastoralism and there are examples from around the world of efforts to facilitate transboundary movements and transboundary ecosystem management by pastoralists. This publication provides a review of various legal and policy arrangements, and offers successful examples of pastoral mobility from across the world. It aims to inspire and inform action by governments and civil society actors to develop legislation and other forms of legal instruments and cooperative agreements for transboundary pastoralism.

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