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Research, Policy and Practice

Table 1 Illustrative excerpts from practitioner publications regarding uncertainty and flexibility

From: Variability is not uncertainty; mobility is not flexibility: Clarifying concepts in pastoralism studies with evidence from Tajikistan

Publication [organization] Comments on uncertainty Comments on flexibility
Herrera et al. (2014). Governance of Rangelands
“Unpredictable and comparatively unproductive lands…rangelands are so vast and unpredictable that communal management has been the key to survival” (xviii). “The success of pastoralism relies on flexibility” (25)
Davies et al. (2016). Improving the Governance of Pastoral Lands
“Pastoralism is, to a large extent, an adaptation to ecological and climate variability [and] other sources of unpredictability” (11).
“[Pastoral lands] are challenging and unpredictable environments” (12).
One of the “defining characteristics of pastoral management and governance” is “Variable and unpredictable climate” (24).
“Pastoralist land tenure systems need…flexibility in their [natural and artificial infrastructure] use” (16).
“…the flexibility and adaptability inherent to pastoral systems” (21).
“Secure and flexible access to land and resources is crucial for the economic, social, and environmental benefits from rangelands managed by pastoralists” (26).
“…the necessary flexibility and fuzziness of pastoralist governance” (33).
Gomarasca, M., C. Heine, and A. Jenet. 2016. “Securing pastoralists’ land tenure rights”
[VSF International]
---- “Pastoralism enables communities to manage their resources in a sustainable, independent and flexible way” (30).
Davies, et al. 2018.
Crossing Boundaries: Legal and Policy Arrangements for Cross-Border Pastoralism
“Mobility…is essential for…managing the unpredictable climate” (1). “…inherent flexibility of arrangements for natural resource management [in pastoral contexts]” (xiv).
Rota et al. (2018).
How to Do Note: Engaging with Pastoralists—A Holistic Development Approach
When defining pastoralism: “Pastoralism…takes advantage of the characteristic instability of rangeland environments, where key resources…become available in short-lived and largely unpredictable concentrations” (42). “Crucial aspects of pastoralist specialization are…the development of flexible resource management systems” (42).