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Managing resources in erratic environments: an analysis of pastoralist systems in Ethiopia, Niger, and Burkina Faso


  • McCarthy, Nancy
  • Dutilly-Diane, Celine
  • Drabo, Boureima
  • Kamara, Abdul
  • Vanderlinden, Jean-Paul


This study analyzes the links between risk and the kinds of property rights that have evolved to provide the mobility necessary to raise livestock in drought-prone countries in this case Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, and Niger. The study also evaluates the impact of cooperation on resource management in these environments. The express purpose of this research is to contribute to the current debate on resource management in highly variable environments, focusing on the impact of climate variability on and the role of cooperation in resource management. More specifically, a conceptual framework is developed to analyze the impact of climatic variability and cooperative capacity on land allocation patterns, stock densities, and patterns of herd mobility. Overall, the empirical results suggest that effective policies for sustainable land management and crisis-response plans may require the design and implementation of mechanisms to increase cooperative capacity.

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  • McCarthy, Nancy & Dutilly-Diane, Celine & Drabo, Boureima & Kamara, Abdul & Vanderlinden, Jean-Paul, 2004. "Managing resources in erratic environments: an analysis of pastoralist systems in Ethiopia, Niger, and Burkina Faso," Research reports 135, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
  • Handle: RePEc:fpr:resrep:135

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Sandler, Todd & Sternbenz, Frederic P., 1990. "Harvest uncertainty and the tragedy of the commons," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 18(2), pages 155-167, March.
    2. Christopher Udry, 1994. "Risk and Insurance in a Rural Credit Market: An Empirical Investigation in Northern Nigeria," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 61(3), pages 495-526.
    3. White, T Anderson & Runge, C Ford, 1994. "Common Property and Collective Action: Lessons from Cooperative Watershed Management in Haiti," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 43(1), pages 1-41, October.
    4. Gary D. Thompson & Paul N. Wilson, 1994. "Common Property As An Institutional Response To Environmental Variability," Contemporary Economic Policy, Western Economic Association International, vol. 12(3), pages 10-21, July.
    5. Pender, John L. & Scherr, Sara J., 1999. "Organizational development and natural resource management: evidence from central Honduras," EPTD discussion papers 49, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    6. Meinzen-Dick, Ruth & Raju, K. V. & Gulati, Ashok, 2002. "What Affects Organization and Collective Action for Managing Resources? Evidence from Canal Irrigation Systems in India," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 30(4), pages 649-666, April.
    7. Meinzen-Dick, Ruth Suseela & Pradhan, Rajendra, 2002. "Legal pluralism and dynamic property rights:," CAPRi working papers 22, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    8. Paxson, Christina H, 1992. "Using Weather Variability to Estimate the Response of Savings to Transitory Income in Thailand," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(1), pages 15-33, March.
    9. Pender, John L. & Scherr, Sara J. & DurĂ³n, Guadalupe, 1999. "Pathways of development in the hillsides of Honduras: causes and implications for agricultural production, poverty, and sustainable resource use," EPTD discussion papers 45, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
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    Cited by:

    1. Diao, Xinshen & Hazell, Peter & Resnick, Danielle & Thurlow, James, 2006. "The role of agriculture in development: implications for Sub-Saharan Africa," DSGD discussion papers 29, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    2. Meinzen-Dick, R. & Nkonya, L., 2005. "Understanding legal pluralism in water rights: Lessons from Africa and Asia," IWMI Books, Reports H038746, International Water Management Institute.
    3. Fekadu Beyene, 2015. "Determinants of food security under changing land-use systems among pastoral and agro-pastoral households in eastern Ethiopia," Environment, Development and Sustainability: A Multidisciplinary Approach to the Theory and Practice of Sustainable Development, Springer, vol. 17(5), pages 1163-1182, October.

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    Range management Ethiopia; Range management Niger; Range management Burkina Faso; Pastoral systems;

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