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SOUTH ASIAN PASTORALISM: THE ENVIRONMENTAL QUESTION

Arun Agrawal and Vasant Saberwal

Many have argued that pastoralism is inimical to the environment.1 At the root of such negative preconceptions are beliefs that pastoralists’ animals compete with wildlife populations, that their feeding habits negatively affect the regenerative capacities of forested landscapes, and that the unpredictability of movements make it impossible to put institutional arrangements in place that would regulate environmental use.2 Yet, we also know of other instances in which herding has been encouraged. Prior to the establishment of a profitable timber market in the Indian state of Himachal Pradesh, for example, local kings encouraged herding in an attempt to maximize ...

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