International Studies, Geography Department, Portland State University, Portland, OR 97207, United States
- Key words: gender, pastoralism, steppe, rangelands, arid zone, Morocco
- Page(s) : 47-50
- Published in: 2006
Over the last decade, rangeland conservation policies throughout North Africa have taken for granted simple dichotomies that associate pastoral settlement with degradation and mobility with ecological sustainability. Growing global concern about desertification in Africa and the Middle East has fostered new policies that attempt to restore rangeland vegetation by remobilizing settled pastoralists. This case study from Eastern Morocco demonstrates, however, that village landscapes have improved only slightly, while severe overgrazing around newly mobile “satellite” tents represents an alterative rangeland degradation pattern. Cultural norms of female seclusion coupled with male-absenteeism and the transfer of livestock feeding and herding activities from men to women and children helps explain this emerging landscape mosaic. These findings highlight the need for systematic analysis of how gender-based labour allocation and livestock management in the pastoral household intersects with rangeland conservation policies at local and regional scales.