How Pastorals Share About Their Struggle in Claiming Their Rights on Grazing Land

Wednesday, 10th May 2017

A following up action from the Rangeland initiative is being preceded, where the pastorals in South Asia gather and meet in India to discuss on the Rangeland status in the regions, as well as exchanging on lives, culture, livestocks, migration pattern, and other pastorals issue.

Hosted by one of ILC Asia member in Gujarat, India, MARAG, the meeting aimed to map the organizations working on rangeland issue in South Asia countries along, and also another opportunity to strengthening the South Asian Pastoral Alliance (SAPA).

Being participated by fifteen participants from Afghanistan, Nepal, and India, this forum also a moment to share their challenges and find some ways as the solutions.

A friend from Afghanistan shared how his ancestors used to migrate to Pakistan some years ago, but things are changing now by having this inter-country conflict. A Nepal friend shared a different challenge of living in a very remoted area in Himalaya, causing his children unable to access formal education, as many schools are located only in the central area.

The Pastorals issues which being raised were commonly on the increased threat delivered to the pastoralism due to grabbing of commons, industrialization, urbanization and declaration of eco-sensitive zones, and century areas. In recent decades, the grazing land area is gradually decreasing, which led the pastorals to leave pastoralism. The absence of policy on grazing land in any country also one of the driving force which mentioned as the challenge faced by the pastorals.

Nevertheless, an optimistic story shared by a pastoral from India, on his struggles in protesting the ban on ‘Jallikattu’, the traditional bull-chasing sport and an integral part of Tamil culture of Tamil Nadu being performed during the Pongal harvest festival. Due to the determine struggle, the Supreme Court decided to withdraw the convict.

The meeting, organized during 18 and 19 April 2017, had generated decision to work together as a way to push grazing land policy in each countries, mapping CSOs/Networks engaged with Pastoralist, Rangeland and Common in South Asia, to get visibility of SAPA, and Rangeland work at various level through social media, and to organize meetings with pastorals at regional and country level. 

News source and photo credit by MARAG