UCL Discovery
UCL home » Library Services » Electronic resources » UCL Discovery

Historical Ecologies of Pastoralist Overgrazing in Kenya: Long-Term Perspectives on Cause and Effect

Boles, OJC; Shoemaker, A; Courtney Mustaphi, CJ; Petek, N; Ekblom, A; Lane, PJ; (2019) Historical Ecologies of Pastoralist Overgrazing in Kenya: Long-Term Perspectives on Cause and Effect. Human Ecology , 47 (3) pp. 419-434. 10.1007/s10745-019-0072-9. Green open access

[thumbnail of Historical Ecologies of Pastoralist Overgrazing in Kenya.pdf]
Preview
Text
Historical Ecologies of Pastoralist Overgrazing in Kenya.pdf - Published Version

Download (2MB) | Preview

Abstract

The spectre of ‘overgrazing’ looms large in historical and political narratives of ecological degradation in savannah ecosystems. While pastoral exploitation is a conspicuous driver of landscape variability and modification, assumptions that such change is inevitable or necessarily negative deserve to be continuously evaluated and challenged. With reference to three case studies from Kenya – the Laikipia Plateau, the Lake Baringo basin, and the Amboseli ecosystem – we argue that the impacts of pastoralism are contingent on the diachronic interactions of locally specific environmental, political, and cultural conditions. The impacts of the compression of rangelands and restrictions on herd mobility driven by misguided conservation and economic policies are emphasised over outdated notions of pastoralist inefficiency. We review the application of ‘overgrazing’ in interpretations of the archaeological record and assess its relevance for how we interpret past socio-environmental dynamics. Any discussion of overgrazing, or any form of human-environment interaction, must acknowledge spatio-temporal context and account for historical variability in landscape ontogenies.

Type: Article
Title: Historical Ecologies of Pastoralist Overgrazing in Kenya: Long-Term Perspectives on Cause and Effect
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1007/s10745-019-0072-9
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1007/s10745-019-0072-9
Language: English
Additional information: This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made
Keywords: Historical ecology . Compression effects . Rangeland management . Pastoralist mobility strategies . Eastern Africa . Kenya
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10079554
Downloads since deposit
0Downloads
Download activity - last month
Download activity - last 12 months
Downloads by country - last 12 months

Archive Staff Only

View Item View Item