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Pastoralism and Land Tenure Transformation: Policy Implications and Livelihoods Adaptations in Botswana

Basupi, Lenyeletse Vincent (2018) Pastoralism and Land Tenure Transformation: Policy Implications and Livelihoods Adaptations in Botswana. PhD thesis, University of Leeds.

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In dryland Africa, access to land and water resources are central to pastoral livelihood activities and sustainability. Policy intervention in these regions represents the outcome of concerted post-independence processes in which countries have committed to land tenure transformation as a policy objective. This was meant to create private, liberal property rights to replace communal customary tenure systems which were considered to be a constraint to development. Despite these efforts, decades of research indicate that countries are struggling to meet environmental sustainability objectives. In Ngamiland District of Botswana, communal pastoral herders find themselves in a situation where they are now surrounded by privatised ranches, veterinary fences and wildlife conservation areas. Their resilience to environmental-related threats such as drought and livestock diseases have been significantly weakened. Using iterative participatory research methods, this thesis examined the social and spatial impacts of rangeland subdivisions and privatisation policies in Ngamiland District to inform sustainable pastoralism and sustainable land management (SLM) policies in sub-Saharan Africa and pastoral drylands. Results point to continued landscape fragmentations, land use conflicts and increase in outbreaks of livestock diseases that have resulted in pastoralists’ marginalisation and vulnerability. Fragmented institutional and policy frameworks, weak governance structures and a lack of political will to build capacity at the local level limit pastoralists’ adaptations and SLM adoption. Protecting pastoral land rights and livelihoods requires establishing negotiated and flexible tenure frameworks that strengthen pastoralists’ participation in decision-making arenas. The integration of local spatial knowledge and integrative geospatial approaches can be used to foster better articulation and understanding of pastoralists’ tenures for a supportive decision-making system for SLM. As the ability to adapt has positive attributes for livelihood sustainability and resilience, there is a need for practical initiatives that improve pastoralists’ adaptive capacity including access to land and markets. This thesis support and expand on the African Union Policy Framework for Pastoralism of 2010, that call for the involvement of pastoral communities and their local level institutions in policy making and implementation for greater SLM goals.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Keywords: Property rights; Communal lands privatisation; Landscapes fragmentation; Sustainable Land Management; Participatory Geographic Information System; Indigenous Knowledge; Vulnerability; Adaptive Capacity; Ngamiland; Okavango Delta; sub-Saharan Africa
Academic Units: The University of Leeds > Faculty of Environment (Leeds) > School of Earth and Environment (Leeds)
Identification Number/EthosID: uk.bl.ethos.745624
Date Deposited: 27 Jun 2018 11:48
Last Modified: 18 Feb 2020 12:49
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/20808

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