Mitigating Farmers-Herders Conflict Through Great Greenwall Initiative (1)

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Political and social instability, which is not the main reason, may be associated with environmental degradation in some areas. Although the use of force in the struggle for limited resources is not new, some believe that the balance between acceptable and unacceptable competition was located, in particular in the Sahelian areas, which led to more violent and frequent conflicts that in most cases cause a serious humanitarian crisis, and also put additional pressure on the environment.

Nigeria has a long discussion about the fluctuations of the conflict, competition and cooperation between farmers and shepherds. This includes periods of forcible rule of shepherds over settled agricultural production systems and the transformation of past pasture lands into cultivation. The current levels of violent conflict between farmers and shepherds in some parts of the country are definitely unbearable for farmers, shepherds, and also for the environment. The possibility for local communities to resort to such violence shows a lack of policy or that the prevailing policies or mechanisms for conflict resolution do not work for the benefit of these communities as a whole. However, in the center of all conflicts there is competition for access and use of increasingly scarce production resources. Therefore, the solution of these crises in the long term requires the elimination of the main causes, including the degradation of natural resources, climate change and other environmental issues.

Arid ecological cataclysm and cattle breeding

Pastoralism, based on mobile livestock, is one of the dominant livelihood activities in Nigeria, especially in the dry northern part. The drylands of Nigeria support most of the livestock economy in the country, occupying about 90% of the cattle population and 70% of goats and sheep. Over the past decades, livestock numbers have increased rapidly in arid regions of Nigeria. Between 1980 and 2010, the number of livestock in drylands grew more than 4% annually faster than the population. Thus, on average the number of herds / flocks per household and per herder increased.

In the Sudan and Sahel zones, which carry most of the livestock population, nomadic shepherds graze their livestock throughout the area and are constantly looking for suitable pastures. The overwhelming majority of livestock are not only poor, but also face a very volatile environment that puts them in a great shock, from which they may have difficulty in recovering. Thus, extensive livestock or livestock production is an efficient and productive livelihood system that allows pastoral households to survive and thrive in difficult environmental conditions. In addition to meeting the needs of households, cattle breeding also makes a significant contribution to the national economy. Shepherding not only provides a high level of livelihood for shepherds, but also is a very environmentally sound use of available resources, contributing to the conservation of biodiversity and providing a range of other environmental services, including carbon sequestration. However, pastoralism is very vulnerable to climate change, which is likely to exacerbate and increase the frequency and extent of drought and desertification, as well as a shortage of water resources and plant resources.

Nigeria's drylands with huge economic potential are particularly vulnerable to threats of degradation of natural resources and are very sensitive to climate variability and long-term climate change. Therefore, the arid regions of Nigeria have witnessed widespread land degradation as a result of human and climatic factors.

Some of the notable effects of environmental disasters in these arid regions of the country include, inter alia, the reduction of biomass produced by rangelands and the consequent depletion of raw materials available to livestock; reduction of available wood biomass; reduction of biodiversity; reduction of available water due to a reduction in river flow or groundwater resources; and the reduction or yield of crops on rainfed or irrigated farmland. The cumulative effects of drought, land degradation, desertification and climate change and crime related to the arms trade, ransom and religious extremism, contribute significantly to driving nomadic shepherds to the south in search of pastures, which leads to increased conflict with local communities .

The Big Green Wall Initiative and the Development of Pastors

The Great Green Wall is an African initiative to transform the Sahel into a stable, sustainable, sustainable region through better management of natural resources, land, water and climate risk. The initiative seeks to strengthen the implementation of existing frameworks and plans to address the effects of drought, land degradation and desertification on the edge of the Sahara desert and improve the livelihoods of affected communities.

The Nigerian Great Green Wall, implemented in the affected northern states, aims to combat land degradation, desertification, climate change and poverty through sound natural resource management and development; job creation; promote the development of dryland agriculture; sustainable rangeland management; development of social infrastructure, especially in rural areas; and the diversification of rural economic activity. The initiative is seen as an alternative to past efforts to combat land degradation in arid regions of the country, which are ineffective.

The development of pasture resources is one of the key components of the program of the Netherlands Great Green Wall to improve livestock production, create an enabling environment for livestock raising in order to realize its potential in the economic development of the affected region and the whole nation and to alleviate the conflicts of scarce natural resources, especially between farmers and shepherds , by restoring or restoring existing degraded pasture lands and facilitating the improvement of the grazing management system m.

Grazing is often perceived as the main driving force of grazing land or degradation of pastures. For example, a traditional system of free grazing may lead to excessive grazing depending on the density of livestock and the frequency of grazing. However, based on the available evidence, it is the management of the grazing system in arid areas, rather than pasture per se, which is the main cause of degradation of pasture land. Thus, an improved grazing system can lead to better control of the density and frequency of grazing, which reduces the risk of overgrazing and degradation of pastures.

The National Agency for the Great Green Wall has developed a number of community-based implementation measures aimed at strengthening the grazing system and reducing conflicts between farmers and shepherds in the drylands and the country as a whole. These measures include:

– restoration of existing degraded pasture lands by transplanting grass species, planting fodder trees and encouraging the natural regeneration of native plant species;

– Promotion of rotational grazing in an alternating explosion to restore the composition, diversity, biomass of plants, cover and improve the state of nutrients in the soil;

– development of water resources to ensure better access to water for livestock;

– Promotion of community and private feed farms to ensure the availability of feed for livestock on a sustainable basis;

– Improvement of preventive and clinical medical services to protect livestock from infectious diseases and parasites. Animal health centers (veterinary clinics) should be established in all local communities;

-Mammon Katsina is the National Agency of the Great Greenwall, Abuja

TO BE CONTINUED

– encouraging the diversification of livelihoods among livestock-holding households so that they can rely on alternative sources of income when the livestock enterprise fails;

Capacity building of local cattle breeders and farmers to improve livestock grazing and rational use of natural resources;

h Improving the participation of pastoralists in decision-making, the management of natural resources and access to health and education;

I. Strengthen existing traditional conflict resolution mechanisms in areas in which livestock competes with other livelihood activities to ensure the sharing of land; and

Encouraging livestock insurance to provide compensation to lost animals.

Several other GGW interventions contribute to the strengthening of grazing and social transformation of pastoralists. Since 2013, when the GGW program began in Nigeria, about 159 solar wells have been built to provide sustainable water supply and more than 100 water intake trays for livestock; about 514 km of shelter, created to protect pasture and agricultural lands from wind erosion; about 159 thousand community lumberjacks created for the restoration of degraded lands; and about 800 improved tree species distributed to reduce deforestation.

Conclusion

It can be expected that the conflict over natural resources will increase in the arid regions of Nigeria and other parts of the country, as the population expands and the amount of precipitation and temperatures becomes more unstable due to climate change. While measures to address the effects of climate change and land degradation through sustainable management of natural resources in drylands are important to ease tensions, dialogue and consent between farmers and shepherds regarding rules governing access and control over land and water resources tend to improve transparency and reduce tension. Establishing or strengthening existing dispute resolution mechanisms, especially at the community level, could help prevent conflict escalation.

Measures to conserve soil and water and promote other forms of sustainable land use (SLM) are also crucial to fighting some of the main instigators of the conflict between farmers and shepherds. These measures can mitigate dry pressure by increasing the productivity of existing arable land and restoring the productive capacity of abandoned and infertile lands. The GGW program plays an invaluable role in combating the driving forces of these conflicts in all its intervention projects, among which, among others, projects on afforestation and reforestation of drylands, poverty alleviation and the initiative to empower women, water management, dry land management, sand dune fixing and oasis rehabilitation, rural infrastructure development, promotion of alternative livelihoods, capacity building for victims of the population in sustainable land use and promotion of alternative energy sources in rural areas.


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