by Joana Roque de Pinho
East African pastoralists have historically coped with seasonal and annual climatic variability. However, as climatic changes are intensifying in the region, their livestock-dependent livelihoods are ever more vulnerable to increasingly frequent droughts and other extreme events.
Pastoralist Transformations to Resilient Futures: Understanding Climate from the Ground Up is a project that aims to explore East African pastoralists’ perceptions of climatic changes and their experiences coping with related challenges. Another goal is to engage scientists, pastoralists and policy-makers in co-producing knowledge about local adaptation and solutions to climate change in the rangelands of East Africa. Dr. Kathleen Galvin and Dr. Robin Reid, who lead the research from Colorado State University, hope that the work will produce insights into how East African livestock systems are adapting to climate change, and the future trajectories of pastoral systems in East Africa and elsewhere.
The film “Pastoralist Voices on Climate Change,” created by Joana Roque de Pinho, Lindsay Simpson and Nicolas Tapia, illustrates the challenges that pastoralists face in a changing climate. The film also shows how the project has promoted dialogue around climate change and adaptation through collaborative workshops with scientists, pastoralists, policy-makers and representatives of civil society in two Kenyan pastoralist areas (Kitengela, Kajiado District; Talek, Narok District) in 2011. In both locations, local knowledge was also elicited and discussed in focus groups with Kenyan pastoralists of both genders.
This initiative is funded by the Livestock and Climate Change Collaborative Research Support Programme (CRSP) with support from the CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS).