|dc.description.abstract||Pastoralism in Asia features a variety of agro-ecological and socio-cultural settings. From Russian Siberia to Indian drylands, the continent is home to large and diverse pastoral territories and communities. Policies and legislation regulating rangeland governance and livestock production are of great concern in the region, as they affect the livelihoods of significant parts of the population. Herding communities across the continent are also highly heterogeneous in their historical trajectories, and socio-political institutions; during the twentieth century, Asian rangelands underwent important political reconfigurations that brought specific consequences for the territories and lives of pastoralists. The Socialist and the capital-intensive Green revolutions that have characterised the recent history of different portions of the region with the goal of modernising agricultural systems have generated significant and differentiated forms of uncertainty for most rural communities.
Agrarian reforms, large-scale infrastructure, subsidy and loan schemes, along with integration into market dynamics, have been instrumental in supporting the stabilization of livestock production and the sedentarisation of herding communities, as part of their broader incorporation into the global economic and political arena. The overall impact has been one of widespread dispossession, dislocation, and marginalization, forcing pastoralists to reconfigure herd management and mobility strategies, and to constantly negotiate their access to grazing resources, market options, and income opportunities, including through land use conversion and migration.
This review of past and evolving policy frameworks in different parts of Asia shows that, despite contrasting differences in ideological perspectives and development trajectories, the dismantling of pastoral resource management has always been purported as a prerequisite for modernisation, through the multiple and divergent agendas of increasing livestock production, preserving rangeland ecosystems and improving local welfare. However, the engagement with State- and market-driven dynamics has rarely been favourable to pastoralists. The political and institutional uncertainty resulting from these approaches has contributed substantially to altering patterns of resource governance for local communities, who have been seldom invited to participate in policy planning and societal debates, even though their livelihoods, land and livestock are often the primary focus of development programmes and modernisation strategies.||en