The Present and Future of Pastoralism: Film Screening and Round Table

Extensive livestock farming and nomadism are probably amongst those traditional livelihoods that are facing greatest challenges in our times, with a continuous weakening and disappearance of herders, flocks and migration routes, amongst others. Such rich knowledge and practice is being eroded by rapid socio-environmental change and a multitude of factors, many times without taking into consideration how such practices directly connect to sustainability, resilience and adaptability, all of them essential for the many threats we currently face.

The High Atlas Cultural Landscapes Programme of the Global Diversity Foundation has been collaborating with transhumant and nomadic populations in the High Atlas for more than 7 years in order to support communal pasture land governance, civil participation, livestock health and traditional cultural practices relating to subsistence mixed agro-ecosystems where livestock is an essential component.

On 20th May 2022, from 11:30-14:20 CEST, we conducted this event online and at the Emerging Business Factory in Marrakech, coinciding with the start of the Marrakech Harvest Festival (Spring 2022). We screened the award-winning documentary “Ait Atta: Nomads of the High Atlas”, produced by Karma Motion and GDF in 2020. This was followed by an informal roundtable discussion on the present and future of pastoralism and transhumance.

Our panel included Engin Yilmaz – Director of the Yolda Initiative, Icho Ben Youssef- a representative of the nomadic community, Soufiane M’Sou- Secretary of the Moroccan Biodiversity and Livelihoods Association, and Ugo D’Ambrosio from GDF as a moderator. Last but not the least, we were joined by Eda Elif Tibet and Inanc Inca Tekguc, the creators of Ait Atta, from Karmamotion. In the discussion, we found the similarities and differences between cases, and brought to light strategies and mechanisms that have been successful in maintaining pastoral livelihoods on the move which could be replicated in different contexts, as well as responded to questions from the audience.