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Book chapter Book chapter Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Indigenous systems of natural resource management among pastoralists of arid and semi-arid Africa
Author:Niamir, Maryam
Book title:The cultural dimension of development: indigenous knowledge systems
Geographic term:Africa
natural resource management
Abstract:This article emphasizes the importance of indigenous natural resource management systems for the development process in pastoral societies in Africa. It is based on a study carried out for and published by the FAO (1990). This study considers a wide range of issues centred on natural resource management, including environmental knowledge and management techniques. The article only summarizes the institutional aspects, which are considered under three headings: informal and formal social controls over rangeland utilization; natural resource tenure (including rangeland tenure, and the tenure of trees, water and other resources); and means of enforcement of rules and regulations. The article shows that the social structure defines the power base on which rules are enforced. The viability of the management organization rests on a system of mutual aid, information network, power lines that reinforce, reward and punishment and cooperation to eliminate competition and conserve energy. The article also defines the way resource management techniques and rules will react to external forces, and how the society will adapt to new technologies and management strategies proposed by development workers.