European and African MPs together support pastoralists
Parliamentarians from the European Parliament of the European Union and from the African, Caribbean and Pacific states (ACP) met in Addis Ababa in November 2013. As part of this meeting, a resolution was passed focusing on the social and environmental challenges facing pastoralists on the continent of Africa. Members of CELEP (the Coalition of European Lobbies for Eastern Africa Pastoralism) were able to make a significant contribution to the discussions. Probably the most important part of the resolution is Section 7 which said the following:
7. Calls on ACP states to strengthen their governance structures so as to ensure better representation of pastoralists, including by empowering traditional institutions and civil society organisations, in order to ensure that appropriate means are used to achieve the following objectives:
(a) safe access to rangelands and dry-season buffer zones;
(b) preservation of traditional knowledge and genetic resources while acquiring new knowledge relating to animal health, the environment and the securing of resources;
(c) access to appropriate, good-quality education, healthcare, veterinary care and water in a way that is adapted to pastoralism;
(d) provision and use of technologies, hygiene services, drought management systems, market information and financial services;
(e) expansion and improvement of processing and market preparation infrastructure and marketing routes;
In a previous section, the resolution also recommended ACP state to "support and advise pastoralist women in relation to their economic empowerment".
Although the resolution will not have the force of law, it does represent a significant expression of the views of this group of law makers in both European and Africa.
The full resolution (which is mainly expressed in the very bureaucratic ways that such resolutions are put) can be seen from here.