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Thwarting social conflicts regarding water resources access in climate change context: cattle pastoralists’ schemes in northern Benin

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Author(s): G. Djohy | A. H. Edja | P. I. Akponikpè | F. Olokesus | B. Mahamadou

Journal: Journal of Livestock Science
ISSN 2277-6214

Volume: 4;
Start page: 51;
Date: 2013;
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Keywords: Climate change | Water resources | Pastoralism | ECOWAS transhumance corridor in Benin | Adaptation

ABSTRACT
Animal production plays a crucial role in the economy of West African countries. However, in the context of climate change, the scarcity of water resources due to drought and high spatio-temporal variability of precipitations, influences considerably pastoral activities. This has driven conflicts among herders in most arid and semi-arid areas especially in the Fourth Transhumance Corridor of ECOWAS (Economic Community of West-African States). The study investigates the adaptation strategies of cattle herders to spatio-temporal variability of water resources in Benin. The results of this analysis aims ultimately at proposing through multi-agents simulations, a better adaptation strategy for decision making about environment conservation policies and reducing the vulnerability of actors and productions. The data were collected with 30 flocks’ keepers in northern Benin. Results reveal that three categories of herders utilize natural resources in divergent manner based on their perception, their programmed and moved distance, the abundance and the condition of the water resources. An increasing transhumant way permits to balance the number of the used water resources during pastoral season and to reduce the number of conflicts among actors varying from 165 in normal season to 120 in disturbed season. The findings suggest an actor-oriented policy and local resources planning to control the movement of herbivorous livestock in open range and also enhance adaptation to climate change within the context of indigenous animal system in West Africa.
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