Coalition of pastoralists calls for urgency on rangelands management policy

Coalition of pastoralists calls for urgency on rangelands management policy
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The Coalition of Pastoralist Civil Society Organisations has expressed deep concerns over the delay in passing the Draft Rangelands Management Policy in Uganda.

The umbrella association that brings together civil society organisations working in areas of pastoralism, land, food security, environment, and climate change issues, says the potential of pastoralism is too big for the issue to be left hanging.

In a statement, released Thursday, the CSOs highlighted critical issues faced by pastoralists and emphasised the urgent need for sustainable pastoralism and the inclusion of pastoral communities in policy development and decision-making processes.

Despite the enormous potential of pastoralism, the production systems remain stuck in challenges and are often neglected in transformation debates.

Pastoralists are affected by various challenges, including food insecurity, climate change uncertainties, land tenure insecurity, oil and mineral exploration, landscape conversion, and gazetting of land for protected areas.

The coalition recognises and applauds the government for its renewed and maintained commitment towards promoting sustainable pastoralism.

They acknowledge the positive steps taken by the government, such as the inclusion of pastoralists in the National Land Policy 2013 and adherence to international protocols on pastoralism.

However, they express concern that the National Rangeland and Pastoralism Policy, initiated in 2012, has not been passed to date.

The coalition emphasises the policy's significance in creating an enabling environment for inclusive engagement, guiding investments, addressing climate change and environmental degradation, and promoting sustainable use and management of natural resources.

They also highlight the importance of addressing the various issues related to land rights, especially communal land rights of the pastoralist communities.

The concerns raised by the Coalition of Pastoralist Civil Society Organisations align with the recent rangeland management policy dialogue led by State minister for animal industry Bright Rwamirama.

The dialogue aimed to address the challenges affecting the agriculture sector, particularly in livestock and pastoral production systems within the rangelands.

The correspondence between the civil society's statement and the discussions at the policy dialogue underscores the shared commitment towards promoting sustainable pastoralism and addressing the challenges faced by pastoral communities in Uganda.

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