From conflict to consensus: towards joint management of natural resources by pastoralists and agro-pastoralists in the zone of Kishi Beiga, Burkina Faso

From conflict to consensus: towards joint management of natural resources by pastoralists and agro-pastoralists in the zone of Kishi Beiga, Burkina Faso

Focusing on historical processes bears fruit: complementarity and conflict between pastoralists and farmers

This article explores the breakdown of complementarity between agriculture and livestock in the Kishi Beiga area in the north of Burkina Faso. The article suggests that the the two systems now compete for land and local management systems have broken down.

This article discusses a joint GTZ and Government of Burkina Faso initiative to improve natural resource management and people's livelihoods. The project encountered the following problems:

  • a participatory community-based land use planning approach, worked initially but it was later found that this was inadequate to deal with the social realities and complexities of the region
  • transhumant pastoralists were not represented
  • social relations between groups were affecting the outcome of project activities in a way that the project was unable to understand
  • management of communal assets was problematic

As this approach was not successful a new set of strategies were adopted. These more successful strategies included:

  • focusing on social groups rather than territorial units. This entailed programme activities shifting towards facilitating consultation and collaboration among the different groups within the community, using participatory methods
  • acknowledging the role that historical processes played in causing local tensions and rivalries among the population in Kishi Beiga, thereby contributing to the breakdown in natural resource management systems. This involved considering the ways in which political regimes, local power structures and land tenure policies have shaped social relationships within the region
  • finding appropriate entry points for discussion, changing the role of development agents, building partnerships and supporting legitimate local leaders and resource people

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