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Assessing the predictability of future livelihood strategies of pastoralists in semi-arid Morocco under climate change

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Freier,  Korbinian P.
IMPRS on Earth System Modelling, MPI for Meteorology, Max Planck Society;

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Freier, K. P., Brüggmann, R., Scheffran, J., Finckh, M., & Schneider, U. A. (2012). Assessing the predictability of future livelihood strategies of pastoralists in semi-arid Morocco under climate change. Technological forecasting and Social Change, 79, 371-382. doi:10.1016/j.techfore.2011.07.003.


Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-0018-302C-7
Abstract
This study assesses the predictability of future livelihood strategies of transhumant pastoralists in semi-arid Morocco. A decrease in precipitation due to climate change will likely threaten their traditional livelihood strategy. We examine whether the pastoralists explicitly prefer certain alternative strategies or if their reactions will be contingent. Our analysis uses standardized interviews focussing on two aspects: firstly, which resources are necessary for the pastoralists to be able to choose a livelihood strategy? Secondly, to what degree are expectations of well-being satisfied by alternative strategies? To assign levels of predictability to all investigated strategies, we analyze the interviews using simple methods of partial order theory. We find that under perceived precipitation scarcity, 38% of pastoralists would explicitly opt for sedentarity and localized pastoralism as alternative strategy. Unclear preferences are given for 25% of the cases. Considering a policy scenario of enhanced access to education and capital, our analysis indicates commercial pastoralism as dominant alternative. However, such a scenario would increase the share of unclear preferences to 43%, which increases the likelihood of a contingent development. The method we propose can be considered as a mathematical basis for the concept of historical contingency. (C) 2011 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.