Contemporary pastoral commons in East Africa As Oecms: A case study from the Daasanach Community

Daniel Maghanjo Mwamidi, Juan Gabriel Renom, Álvaro Fernández-Llamazares, Daniel Burgas, Pablo Domínguez, Mar Cabeza

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


© 2018 International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources. Despite growing policy interest in the conservation values of territories and areas conserved by Indigenous peoples and local communities (abbreviated to 'ICCAs') at the global level, our understanding of the ICCAs in East Africa is meagre at best. We explore the existence of ICCAs in East Africa, focusing on the case of the Daasanach pastoralists of Ileret, Kenya. We examine their existence through ethnographic approaches, including participant observation, semi-structured interviews and focus group discussions. We explore whether these particular ICCAs fit the criteria to be recognised as 'other effective area-based conservation measures' (OECMs), with specific attention to their customary management systems. Our work evidences the existence of pastoral ICCAs amongst the Daasanach, challenging the widespread assumption in the scientific literature that traditional pastoral commons are insignificant in today's East African context. Such ICCAs have played a central role not only for local livelihoods, but also for the maintenance of biodiversity and ecosystem services, aligning with the current definition of OECMs. Yet concerns about the rapidly changing socio-ecological system may defy such categorisation. In closing, we offer some remarks on the management criteria for OECMs and propose improved guidelines for measuring the effectiveness of OECMs.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)79-88
Issue numberSpecial issue
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2018


  • Community-based conservation
  • Customary law
  • Customary norms
  • Ecosystem services
  • OECMs
  • Pasture governance
  • Sustainability


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