Pastoralists as stewards of the environment


Article published on D+C International Journal
by Cornelia Heine
July 2015

heinedcCattle farming is mentioned among the world’s worst environmentally destructive activities: it devours resources, pollutes groundwater and is a climate killer. These claims are all true – but not universally so. Pastoralists have managed their livestock in harmony with nature for millennia. As recent publications on the subject confirm, they actually help conserve ecosystems.

Besides supplying meat and milk for millions of people worldwide, Pastoralism is also one of the most sustainable and environmentally benign forms of livestock farming. It improves soil quality, preserves biodiversity, keeps nutrient cycles intact and helps maintain regional food security, especially in the global South.

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