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University Peshawar (2013)

ENVIRONMETAL IMPACTS OF PASTORAL LIVELIHOOD SHIFT IN NARAN VALLEY, NORTHERN PAKISTAN

KHURSHID, MUHAMMAD

Titre : ENVIRONMETAL IMPACTS OF PASTORAL LIVELIHOOD SHIFT IN NARAN VALLEY, NORTHERN PAKISTAN

Auteur : KHURSHID, MUHAMMAD

Université de soutenance : University Peshawar

Grade : Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) 2013

Résumé
This empirical research study is carried out in Naran uplands to examine crops encroachment phenomena and its subsequent socio-economic and ecological consequences on the basis of qualitative and quantitative data. Accordingly, the extent of pasture areas encroached by crops cultivation is examined through GIS mapping while the magnitude of the socioeconomic and ecological costs are assessed at pastoral community level on the basis of primary data gathered through household interviews, focus groups discussions and key informant interviews. Based on the analysis of both qualitative and quantitative data, specifically the results showed that ; i. Agro-pastoral communities have been abandoned traditional pastoral occupation in favour of off season crops cultivation and shifted their livelihood dependency from livestock herding to cropping. Those who occupied the transitional zone between croplands and grazing lands partly adopted crops cultivation as alternative livelihood activity with livestock herding. However this group of pastoral communities is in transition from pure pastoralism to agro-pastoralism. The extensive crops cultivation in the lower bottomland of Naran valley reduced the available grazing land for landless mobile pastoralists. Consequently mobile pastoralists who are solely dependent on livestock herding pushed to higher grazing niches for livestock herding. ii. Crops encroachment in the upland pastures of Naran valley has curtailed livestock mobility and restricted their access to diverse grazing niches and water points. Pastoral communities consequently changed pasture occupation pattern, herd size and composition and largely transformed their household‘s labour from herding to cropping. However, significant shift in pastoral herding labour is observed among agro-pastoral households and pure crops producing community while non-significant changes recorded in pure mobile pastoral households. iii. Due to the higher income from crops cultivation, the greed for higher production from virgin land as compared to aged land and in-secure land tenure problem, crops cultivation extended towards steep slopes beyond the permissible level without retention structures (i.e. terracing, benching, shrub rows). This has fostered soil erosion on the fragile slopes with gradually declined crop yields and land productivity that leads to land degradation. It is concluded that in high Himalayan pastures pastoral livelihood shift through the introduction of cash crop have positive economic impacts for the crop producers but have negative economic consequences for the mobile pastoral communities. From environmental perspective, such crops cultivation encroachment in ecologically fragile niches of the high mountains, only suitable for herding has exposed alpine ecosystems to degradation. This also raises new challenges for sustainable land management in high mountains. Keeping all this in view, the results of this study can contribute to the development of pastoral land policy and high mountain ecosystem conservation in Hindu Kush-Himalayan region in general and in mountain valleys of northern Pakistan in particular.

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