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Commission involvement at IUAES2009

Academic Session of the Commission on Nomadic Peoples around the theme of Humanity, Development and Cultural Diversity

The Commission on Nomadic Peoples of the International Union of Anthropological and Ethnological Sciences organized an Academic Session around the theme of Humanity, Development and Cultural Diversity. This academic session was be divided into three sub-panels each with its own co-chair and examined pastoralism and pastoral development –social, ecological and cultural – both regionally and globally. As we enter the 21stcentury, change has become a key concept to understand the transformation of pastoral and nomadic ways of life. In some cases change is synonymous with development and enhances mobility and pastoral lifestyles and in other case change cannot be so easily categorized. All the three sub-panels below speak to the concept of change, development and cultural diversity.

First Sub Panel

The first sub panel was co-chaired by Professors Elliot Fratkin and Anatoly Khazanov. The provisional title for this sub-panel was 'Pastoral Development: A Global Assessment' Pastoral populations continue to carry out livestock production in the world's arid and northern regions, despite large changes in land use, political incorporation, national and international economies, sedentarization and urban migration. This panel compared experiences and processes of pastoral populations in Africa, the Middle East, Latin America, and South, Central, and Northern Asia. Questions of pastoral viability, the relation of pastoralists and the state, and transformations in economy were highlighted.

Second Sub Panel

The second sub-panel was co-chaired by Professors John Galaty and Michael Bollig. The title for this sub-panel was Resilience to Resistance: Pastoralist Strategies in Response to Contemporary Political and Ecological Disruption and Change in Africa. The sub-panel examined socio-political change particularly new and old elites, transformation of networks, and the recasting of socio-ecological relations on pastoral societies and global change.

Third Sub Panel

The third sub-panel was co-chaired by Professors DU Fachun (Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, China) and Julia Klein (Colorado State University, USA). Its title was "Ecological Resettlement: Local Participation and Policy Improvement". This sub-panel focussed on some of the critical issues related to ecological migration and sedentarization, particularly on the Tibetan and Mongolian herders who relocated (and resettled) in China.