Rangeland degradation and socio-economic changes among the Bedu of Jordan: results of the 1995 IFAD Survey

By R. Blench
ODI-Pastoral Development Network ; Livestock: Coping with Drought


The nomads use modern methods for the seasonal movement of livestock, in Syria©FAO -M.Marzot

The paper describes the pastoral system of the Bedu of Jordan as it existed in 1995, and summarizes the reasons for the changes that have occurred over recent years. The likely course of future development is outlined.

Key points
1. The classic literature on the Bedu in Jordan and neighbouring countries has shown regular patterns of transhumance, following traditional routes and associated with particular tribal and subtribal groupings. This situation has been shown as if it still existed in quite recent reports. However, in reality, it has all but broken down in favour of a more opportunistic system using trucks and telecommunications to exploit remote pastures.

2. The main reasons for the changes in the Bedu behaviour can be summarized as follows:

Availability of trucks to move animals and water;
Telecommunications to assess the availability of pasture;
Closing of national the frontiers to the pastoralist movement;
Breakdown of traditional authority systems; and
A relatively liberal political climate

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