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Lund University (2019)

Risk, Resilience and Insurance in Sudanese Pastoralism

Safieldin, Alla

Titre : Risk, Resilience and Insurance in Sudanese Pastoralism

Auteur : Safieldin, Alla

Université de soutenance : Lund University

Grade : Master 2018

Pastoralism is a nomadic lifestyle and a livelihood system that revolves around raising livestock. By migrating seasonally in search of water and pasture for their animals, pastoralists are able to inhabit and make productive use some of the world’s harshest environments. In Sudan, where over 90% of the vast land area is covered by desert and drylands, pastoralism remains a vital feature of the country’s social, economic and cultural make-up. Despite the existence of centuries-old strategies to manage risks associated with drought, pastoralists’ reliance on seasonal rainfall and pasture renders them particularly vulnerable to climate shocks. For a people whose livestock are their most valuable productive assets, droughts that cause herd losses can be ruinous. For this reason, risk transfer in the form of insurance is now being explored as one option to manage the risks of droughts by allowing pastoralists to insure their herds against the weather.This study considers the potential for using index-based livestock insurance (IBLI) in the context of Sudanese pastoralism, asking the question “Can insurance improve pastoralists’ resilience to drought ?” IBLI is an innovative form of insurance which attempts to extend insurance to pastoralists, a proposition which until recently was not possible. Index insurance circumvents the challenges of traditional insurance by basing pay-outs on a weather index rather than actual losses. In theory, IBLI holds much potential in strengthening the resilience of Sudan’s pastoralists by providing them with a much-needed safety net. By mitigating the risks of animal loss, this insurance could reduce their vulnerability to climate shocks.To better understand the potential for using index-based livestock insurance, the study reviewed the evidence from IBLI pilots in Ethiopia, Kenya and Mongolia. The study also interviewed experts in the field of pastoralism in Sudan to understand the risks to pastoralists’ livelihoods as well as the formal and informal strategies currently available to manage these risks. Based on the results of these interviews, the study presented the opportunities and challenges related to the use of index-based insurance in the context of Sudan.The study found many non-climatic sources of risks which present challenges to using index-insurance ; including restricted land access, conflict, disease, rustling and market risks. Restricted land access was identified as a key risk due to its interference with seasonal mobility, the primary strategy for managing climate risk within the pastoral system. The study highlights the need for measures that address the structural sources of risk in the pastoral system, such as land-use policies that guarantee pastoralists’ access to rangelands and migration corridors, economic policies that support rural producers as well as strengthening extension and veterinary services. Strong opportunities for using insurance for resilience include its potential to be linked to other interventions for economic empowerment, and its potential to enable access to credit which can be used to finance other adaptation activities.

Mots Clés  : Climate change adaptation, Disaster risk management, Drought, Index-based livestock insurance, Pastoralism, Risk, Resilience, Sudan


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Page publiée le 9 avril 2019, mise à jour le 27 avril 2020