Presenter/Author Information

Gunnar Dressler
Birgit Mueller
Karin Frank

Keywords

agent-based modelling, livestock, natural resource use, risk management, sustainability

Start Date

1-7-2012 12:00 AM

Description

Nomadic systems around the world are subject to changes in economic, social and climatic conditions. Often traditional tenure regimes based on ethnolineages have been transformed to privatized pastoral systems with individual access regimes. Mobility, a basic principle of nomadic life, is undergoing fundamental changes: On the one hand side the loss of mobility and increased sedentarisation is widely discussed topic, but on the other hand, the introduction of new transportation technologies like trucks or new forms of communication and the availability of weather forecasts have led to an almost instantaneous availability of knowledge for the pastoralists and the possibility to rapidly move between pastures. The increased mobility is often attributed with a benefit in terms of herd size and condition, however, sustainable resource use especially in resourcescarce regions always faces trade-offs: Resting pastures and maintaining livestock at the same time is not easy. In an agent-based ecological-economic simulation model we explore mobility as one mechanism to enhance sustainability on a nomadic grazing system as well as possible negative effects of increased mobility on the long-term pasture quality and herd condition. We analyse the influence of agent density and movement costs on overall biomass and livestock numbers and identify thresholds above which mobility leads to degradation of the pastures and decline of livestock numbers for the pastoralist. These insights can be crucial for developing future policies and access regimes in pastoral communities.

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Jul 1st, 12:00 AM

Mobility – a panacea for pastoralism? An ecological-economic modelling approach.

Nomadic systems around the world are subject to changes in economic, social and climatic conditions. Often traditional tenure regimes based on ethnolineages have been transformed to privatized pastoral systems with individual access regimes. Mobility, a basic principle of nomadic life, is undergoing fundamental changes: On the one hand side the loss of mobility and increased sedentarisation is widely discussed topic, but on the other hand, the introduction of new transportation technologies like trucks or new forms of communication and the availability of weather forecasts have led to an almost instantaneous availability of knowledge for the pastoralists and the possibility to rapidly move between pastures. The increased mobility is often attributed with a benefit in terms of herd size and condition, however, sustainable resource use especially in resourcescarce regions always faces trade-offs: Resting pastures and maintaining livestock at the same time is not easy. In an agent-based ecological-economic simulation model we explore mobility as one mechanism to enhance sustainability on a nomadic grazing system as well as possible negative effects of increased mobility on the long-term pasture quality and herd condition. We analyse the influence of agent density and movement costs on overall biomass and livestock numbers and identify thresholds above which mobility leads to degradation of the pastures and decline of livestock numbers for the pastoralist. These insights can be crucial for developing future policies and access regimes in pastoral communities.