Unsustain the Sustainable: An Evaluation of the Legal and Policy Interventions for Pastoral Development in Ethiopia
Pastoralism: Research, Policy and Practice, Vol 6:2, February 2016
Posted: 10 Dec 2015 Last revised: 2 Feb 2016
Date Written: December 8, 2015
This article is a critical appraisal of the legal and policy interventions for pastoral development in Ethiopia under the Imperial, Derg and Ethiopian Peoples’ Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) governments. Based on an extensive review of pastoral policies, laws and practices, it is found that the legal and policy interventions are not pastoral sensitive, and accordingly, they have been unable to bring the desired result. Moreover, they have created pressure on the pastoralists and the pastoral economy, as they do not consider pastoralism as a viable system. In particular, their settlement vision poses a challenge to the very system of pastoralism, and it threatens the pastoral culture, social institutions and identity. This article argues that Ethiopian pastoralists have a right to development in the manner that advances the enforcement of their human rights, and the Ethiopian state assumes a legal obligation to undertake pastoral development consistent with human rights based approach. It calls for the (re)consideration of the legal and policy interventions in line with international human rights standards, the bill of rights and the National Policy Principles and Objectives of the Ethiopian Federal Democratic Republic Constitution. Pursuing pastoral development based on agrarian and flawed assumptions not only affects the pastoral system, but also the continuous viability of pastoralists -- for it makes the sustainable pastoral way of life unsustainable.
Keywords: Development, Ethiopia, Human Rights, Law, Pastoralism, Policy, Settlement
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