Support to organize the regional conference on pastoralism

Photo caption: Pastoralism, seen as "a way of life based essentially on livestock breeding, especially small ruminants, cattle and camels", is characterized, among other things, by the strategic mobility of animals - to ensure effective access to and use of common resources, as here in a village in western Cameroon. UNOCA/Norbert N. Ouendji

13 Apr 2018

Support to organize the regional conference on pastoralism

About fifteen UN and officials from the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS) met from 10 to 11 April at the United Nations Regional Office for Central Africa (UNOCA) to exchange experiences on a crucial subject: conflict prevention and pastoralism. ECCAS experts provided an overview of the situation in the sub-region. They underlined, among others, risks linked to pastoralism which is defined as "a way of life based essentially on the breeding of livestock, in particular small ruminants, cattle and camels". Among these risks, ECCAS highlighted climate change (which is pushing pastoralists further south), the break-up of traditional transhumance corridors, the expansion of crops and livestock (leading to increased competition over natural resources) and growing insecurity (armed robbery by bandits).

The United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA) proposed a case study, including conflicts between pastoralists and farmers in the Central African Republic (CAR). The discussions were enriched by presentations on the situation in the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), which were delivered by the United Nations Office for West Africa and the Sahel (UNOWAS). UNOWAS also distributed its Conflict Analysis Manual published in March 2018.

Establishment of a mechanism for settling conflicts linked to pastoralism

at the end of the discussions, participants adopted several recommendations including the need to undertake joint UNOCA/EECAS actions to prioritize the issue of conflict prevention and pastoralism. They also expressed the hope that the international community would provide support to organize the regional conference on pastoralism in Central Africa. This conference was decided at the fifth Ordinary Session of the Council of Ministers of the Peace and Security Council of Central Africa (COPAX), held from 3 to 4 March 2018 in Libreville. It will promote the adoption of community rules on pastoralism, including a regional protocol to promote peaceful coexistence between farmers and herders, security and stability in Central Africa. The ECCAS experts hoped that these mechanisms could facilitate the settlement of conflicts linked to pastoralism. They also expressed the wish that governments would intensify communication and raise awareness on this phenomenon.

in addition to UNOCA and UNOWAS (co-organizers of the meeting), ECCAS, UNAMA, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) participated in this meeting. Its opening ceremony was chaired by Mr. Anatole Ayissi, Chief of Cabinet/UNOCA.