Pastoral Land Governance

Full Title

Synthesizing research on pastoral governance of common-pool resources


Communities of mobile livestock keepers—pastoralists—often have systems for the governance and management of land and resources that do not conform to theoretical models that have been developed based on experience in other kinds of ecosystems. Because of the unique characteristics of pastoralist systems, well-intentioned efforts to strengthen communal property rights can have the unintended consequence of undermining the mobility, flexibility and adaptability that are essential features of these systems. Recent scholarship, however, suggests that we may be close to a robust theoretical explanation for the distinctive characteristics of these pastoralist governance systems. Nevertheless, loose ends persist, and the work is yet to be synthesized into a coherent, cross-cutting understanding. This workshop will synthesize the latest scientific research to develop a conceptual model of pastoralist land and resource governance. The conceptual model will be explored and validated using comparison of diverse cases of pastoralist governance systems, past and present, and through computer modeling simulations. The workshop will explore the practical implications of the synthesis and translate the findings into specific policy recommendations.

Project Type
Team Synthesis Project
Principal Investigators
Lance Robinson, International Livestock Research Institute
Mark Moritz, The Ohio State University
Ghanimat Azhdari, Centre for Sustainable Development and Environment
Roy Behnke, Odessa Centre
Randall Boone, Colorado State University
Jonathan Davies, International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN)
Maria Fernandez-Gimenez, Colorado State University
John Galaty, McGill University
Jürgen Groeneveld, Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research (UFZ)
Ian Hamilton, The Ohio State University
Carolyn Lesorogol, Washington University in St. Louis
Pablo Manzano Baena, Independent researcher/consultant; formerly World Initiative for Sustainable Development
Barbara Nakangu, International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN)
Maryam Niamir-Fuller, Independent consultant; formerly UNEP-GEF
Elisa Oteros-Rozas, University of Vic
Razingrim Ouedraogo, International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN)
Dinesh Rabari, Maldhari Rural Action Group
Louise Riotte-Lambert, University of Glasgow
Matt Turner, University of Wisconsin
Gregorio Velasco Gil, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations
Hijaba Ykhanbai, JASIL Environment and Development Association