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"Complementarity Between Community-Based Animal Health Delivery Systems and Community-Based Wildlife Management? An Analysis of Experiences Linking Animal Health to Conflict Management in Pastoralist Areas of the Horn of Africa"

Tim Leyland and Richard Grahn

Community-based animal health delivery systems have been developing since the early 1980s across all continents. They are now accepted as viable mechanisms for bringing services to remote, marginalised and under-served livestock-keeping communities. In recent years there has been a concerted drive in the pastoralist areas of the Horn of Africa to make these systems sustainable through privatisation, supported by enabling policies and legislation. This process has forced advocates for these delivery systems to confront core non-animal health problems, such as access to markets, political marginalisation of pastoralist communities and conflict. This paper briefly describes how successful community-based animal health delivery systems function. It gives examples of the positive impact these projects have had on the livelihoods of livestock owners. They have also proven vital in gaining the confidence of pastoralists and assisting the pastoralists themselves to manage local conflicts such as livestock raiding. The authors note that whilst much progress has been made at the community level in conflict management, sustainable peace and improved economic outcomes requires policy and legislative change by responsible governments, based on a fuller understanding of pastoralist problems. This understanding will have to come from pastoralist communities themselves through their attainment of a voice and ability to advocate for improvements.

During the course of animal health-linked conflict management work in pastoralist areas, the weak management of wildlife resources has emerged as a community concern. Opinion leaders in pastoralist communities are advocating increased efforts from communities and other stakeholders to address the massive wildlife depletion that has taken place in pastoralist areas of the Horn of Africa over the past 30 years, primarily through game meat off-take. Some of the local leaders’ suggestions are presented. The authors note that pastoralists are more likely to address issues of wildlife and habitat destruction once their more crucial livelihoods problems (particularly animal health and conflict) are being solved.

Given the geographical closeness of wildlife and pastoralist grazing lands in the Horn of Africa, the paper examines community involvement in wildlife conservation and management around protected areas. It asks whether some of the lessons learned from community animal health programmes and their links with conflict prevention could be utilised to improve wildlife conservation and management in pastoralist communities. The authors conclude that there is an opportunity to add value to community-based wildlife management schemes by linking them with community-based animal health initiatives. Such linkages require more dialogue and collaboration between conservationists, veterinary practitioners and pastoralists.


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Biography for Tim Leyland

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