Accepted Paper:

Surviving of pastoralism through development: some cases of Himalayan transhumant herders  


Kazuyuki Watanabe (Ritsmeikan University)

Paper short abstract:

This paper aims to consider why Himalayan transhumance is not stopped in site of the situations so many herders retired from pastoralism by effects from development.

Paper long abstract:

Development has not been favorable word for the scholars who hope survival of pastoralism. Actually, among few decades, so many pastoralists retired from pastoralism because of spread of motorization or migration labor, enclosure of pasture or state restriction for grazing, and sedentarization, etc. However, not all pastoralists stopped pastoralism even among shrinking of pastoralism. In case of Himalayan region, pastoralism is vanished in lower villages but surviving in higher villages adjacent to alpine pasture. Old aged transhumant herders continue pastoralism even he retired from agriculture. Mountain routes of trans-Himalayan trading route, which is used for salt-grain trading caravan, is used by pack animal for tourists now. Spread of migration labor absorbed so many herders, but some herders increased size of animal which is sold from retired herders. Restriction of grazing is not easy as before, but area of pasture is increasing because un-cultivating land, which is products of short of labor in mountain farmers, became forests among a decade. State unusually considers for the welfare of pastoralists. As a result of pastoralists claimed forest conservation program become difficult to access of pasture, state provided pastoral development program which includes medicine of livestock. Price of livestock products is increased as other foods. Mountain is good area for pastoralism. Unproduced land for agriculture can be used for pasture, and small land farmer can get supplemented income from livestock. Future of pastoralist is still uncertain, but it will continue as one of mountain economy until when mountain people still needs it.

Panel P043
Development and pastoralists (Commission on Nomadic Peoples/NME panel)