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Universiteit Leiden (2017)

How has RECOPA been increasing the resilience of nomadic Fulani pastoral herders in a context of increasing environmental and political instability in West Africa ? A case study on RECOPA, Fada N’Gourma, Burkina Fas

Colohan, Aisling

Titre : How has RECOPA been increasing the resilience of nomadic Fulani pastoral herders in a context of increasing environmental and political instability in West Africa ? A case study on RECOPA, Fada N’Gourma, Burkina Fas

Auteur : Colohan, Aisling

Université de soutenance : Universiteit Leiden

Grade : Master of Arts (MA) African Studies 2017

Descriptif
This thesis will concentrate on the problem of nomadic pastoral herders in relation to ecological and political instability in the Sahelian region of West Africa. The paper will present the findings on primary research that I conducted in Fada N’Gourma, Burkina Faso. In my time in the west of Africa I had the chance to work in close contact with nomadic pastoral herder communities, more specifically with Fulbe herders, and through my internship in Fada N’Gouma in the East region of Burkina Faso I was able to identify points of interest towards realizing the research objectives. This research examines the role of local organizations, particularly RECOPA, in both the process of mediation and prevention of conflicts between Fulbe pastoralists and local farmers in areas prone to conflicts and climate instability in the southern parts of Burkina Faso. In addition, I examined processes that are facilitating or inhibiting the well-functioning of transhumance in Burkina Faso and neighbouring countries. In Burkina Faso I worked with RECOPA an organization whose main scope is to improve the living conditions of pastoral groups. The data collected also gave me the opportunity to broaden my views on pastoral issues, the changes that are occurring in this sector and the role that local organizations such as RECOPA have in order to achieve better rights for pastoral herders as well as the issues that come with this trade and lifestyle in Burkina Faso. Through this experience I was also able to identify a lack of literature on the role of local organizations whose remit involves the farmerherder conflict. This encouraged me to concentrate my research on the importance of local organizations in relation to such socio-political crisis. I will use the organization which hosted me during my time in Burkina Faso as my key case study. The study will present the projects that have been put into place, the reflections and the hopes for the future of the people I met in the organization. I will present how such projects and the socio-political and environmental factors have been impacting nomadic pastoral herders in the south east of Burkina Faso and their experience in neighbouring countries.

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