Centro de conocimiento pastoril

Creation of the South Asia Pastoralist Alliance

Nineteen organisations team up to advocate pastoralism

12/03/2015 -

Thirty-five pastoralists representing 19 organizations from Afghanistan, Bangladesh, India, Nepal and Sri Lanka founded the South Asia Pastoralist Alliance to engage with governments and advocate pastoralism.

The meeting from 9-11 March 2015 in Gopnaad, Gujarat in India was organized by the Indian NGO MARAG and represents the first of seven pastoral meetings financed by FAO’s Pastoralist Knowledge Hub.

The network wants pastoralists to be included in policy dialogues and wants their representatives to understand how to participate in and influence policy processes. The new alliance plans to organize workshops in each country of the region within the next six months.

The participants nominated a steering committee and national focal points. The overall coordination will be done by MARAG at the beginning.

Prior to the meeting, a mapping exercise was carried out identifying 45 pastoralist organizations in the region. All organizations were invited to the pastoralist gathering. It was difficult to find contacts in Afghanistan, Bhutan and Pakistan.

The meeting discussed pastoralism in each of the countries. The workshop’s report captures all results. In working groups the representatives discussed food sovereignty, environment issues, pastoralist culture and organisation matters.

Pastoralists in the region face many challenges. Grazing land and fodder is decreasing. Communities have a bad access to markets. Existing policies do not effectively address grazing land and pastoralist products. Education and healthcare are not adapted to mobile livelihoods. Many pastoralists in Himalayan region have no access to health care or veterinary centres.

The assembly concluded that a lot of information on pastoralist systems is missing. This is why the network wants to develop knowledge bank on pastoral practices and promote evidence-based research on pastoralist land, food and livestock policies. 


South East Asian pastoralist gathering of the Pastoralist Knowledge Hub, March 2015 - Gujarat, India