Fully dependent on their animals for their livelihood and income, pastoralists employ mobility as a key strategy to ensure the availability of pasture and water for their herds, thus increasing their resilience. While their movement allows them to overcome the vagaries of nature prevalent in the harsh environments they inhabit, their remoteness and often trans-boundary livelihoods have made it challenging to access services and engage in decision-making. Pastoralist are at the forefront of the human, livestock and wildlife interface. They are especially vulnerable to zoonotic diseases, because they live in close contact with their animals and often consume raw milk and meat. Furthermore changing environmental conditions also affect the availability of pasture for their animals, and in-turn affect their nutrition status.
The animal-human-environment sectors are interconnected and associated with the emergence of infectious diseases as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS). Multisectoral approaches such as One Health can help address the challenges at this interface by providing adapted vaccinations campaigns and veterinary services to pastoralists.
Coordinator of the Pastoralist Knowledge Hub
Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations
Regional Coordinator of the Support Pastoralism in Sahelian Countries project
Redes Chaco y Pastorámericas
Centre for Sustainable Development & Environment