Damonte, Gerardo; Manuel Glave, Sandra Rodríguez and Andrea Ramos (2016). The Evolution of Collective Land Tenure Regimes in Pastoralist Societies: Lessons From Andean Countries. Regional Research Papers . ELLA.

Much has been said about the importance of pastoralist livelihoods for the effective and sustainable use of the world’s drylands which cover approximately 40% of total land surface. Globally, drylands provide livelihoods to some two billion people, 90% of whom live in developing countries (UN, 2011). Pastoralism is the principle production system exercised in drylands across the globe, largely because pastoralist practices maximise the use of scarce energetic resources through animal grazing while at the same time preserving ecosystem services.

Yet pastoralist societies around the world are facing increasing pressures on their way of life. Although the drivers vary widely from region to region, they have generally resulted in a trend towards the commoditisation of the pastoral economy, the individualisation of land rights and declining livestock mobility. These trends not only jeopardize the sustainability of pastoral livelihoods, pushing pastoralists into the expanding pockets of poverty in urban areas, they also endanger the sustainability of resource management in drylands.

In the face of these challenges, this paper seeks to analyse how the land tenure regimes of pastoralist societies living in the Andean altiplano have transformed. It also discusses the implications of these transformations for the sustainability of resource management, based on the premise that a better understanding of customary land tenure regimes can help inform public policy and decision making.