Pastoralism and wildlife: historical and current perspectives in the East African rangelands of Kenya and Tanzania
- Publisher: OIE
The relationship between pastoralists, their livestock, wildlife and the rangelands of East Africa is multi-directional, complex and long-standing. The tumultuous events of the past century, however, have rewritten the nature of this relationship, reshaping the landscapes that were created, and relied upon, by both pastoralists and wildlife. Presently, much of the interaction between wildlife and pastoralists takes place in and around protected areas, the most contentious occurring in pastoral lands surrounding national parks. In conservation terminology these areas are called buffer zones. In the past century buffer zones have been shaped by, and contributed to, restrictive conservation policies, expropriation of land, efforts to include communities in conservation, both positive and negative wildlife/livestock interactions, and political tensions. In this review paper, the authors outline the history that shaped the current relationship between pastoralists, livestock and wildlife in buffer zones in East Africa and highlight some of the broader issues that pastoralists (and pastoralism as an effective livelihood strategy) now face. Finally, they consider some of the sustainable and equitable practices that could be implemented to improve livelihoods and benefit wildlife and pastoralism alike.