Tezera Getahun Tiruneh
(Pastoralist Forum Ethiopia)
Paper Short Abstract:
In Ethiopia pastoralist population accounts more than 10 million and inhabit 50% of the total landmass. Almost all of pastoral inhabitants are considered rangelands. Pastoralists are endowed with 42% of the total national TLU, indigenous knowledge system and 9% GDP contribution.
Paper long abstract:
In Ethiopia pastoralist population accounts more than 10million (total population nearly 90million) and inhabit more than half of the total landmass (FDRE HPR-PASC 2009). Almost all of pastoral inhabitants are considered rangelands. Pastoralists are endowed with huge livestock resources (42% of the total national TLU) and indigenous knowledge system that provides them with a rich resource for optimising production in often-challenging dryland environments. The contribution of pastoralism to national GDP is estimated 9% (Rodriguez, 2008 pp21.). The aims of this paper are to share experiences and lessons learned from advocating pastoralism and improving the voice of pastoralists in policy-making processes in Ethiopia through a specific activity and process - namely the Ethiopian Pastoralist Day. The paper has been developed through a self- and peer-reflective process by individuals and partners who have been involved in the development of EPD over the years. Questions considered include: What is the extent to which the EPD has helped mobilise pastoralists and created a common platform for pastoralists to enable them to share experiences, both among themselves and with other stakeholders? What is the extent to which EPD has raised the profile and promoted the concern of pastoralists including through creating an enabling policy environment for pastoral development at local, regional and national levels? What have been the key successes and challenges of EPD? What are the lessons learned, including those relevant to other pastoral communities outside Ethiopia and those organisations that wish to support them?