Journal of Geographical Sciences ›› 2019, Vol. 29 ›› Issue (10): 1758-1770.doi: 10.1007/s11442-019-1656-4

• Review Articles • Previous Articles    

Socio-political and ecological stresses on traditional pastoral systems: A review

MUHAMMAD Khurshid1, MOHAMMAD Nafees2, ABDULLAH Khan1, MEHMET Somuncu3, ASHFAQ Ahmad Khan4, WAJID Rashid5   

  1. 1. Department of Environmental Sciences, The University of Haripur, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa 22620, Pakistan;2. Department of Environmental Sciences, University of Peshawar, Peshawar 25000, Pakistan
    2. Department of Environmental Sciences, University of Peshawar, Peshawar 25000, Pakistan
    3. Department of Geography, Ankara University, Sihhiye 06100, Ankara, Turkey
    4. Department of Geography, Karabuk University, Karabuk 78000, Turkey
    5. Department of Environmental Sciences, The University of Swat, Swat 19130, Pakistan
  • Received:2017-11-16 Accepted:2018-02-17 Online:2019-10-25 Published:2019-12-09
  • About author:Muhammad Khurshid, Assistant Professor, E-mail:


Pastoralism is a viable socio-economic system-shaped by landless and agro-pastoral communities in many pastoral regions of the world. This system is mainly based on seasonal migration of pastoralists and their livestock herds between upland and lowland pastures. Traditionally pastoral activities make significant contributions to mountain livelihood subsistence, regional economies and environmental sustainability. However, the pastoralist’s lifestyle and their economies are increasingly confronted to various socio-political, economic and ecological stresses from the last few decades. Extensive literature reviewed on this subject with the aim to explore the current emerging challenges faced by pastoral communities in different pastoral regions. It has been revealed from literature that the prevalent socio-political and economic stress on pastoralism caused by modernization, insecure land tenure, integration of market economy, civil insecurities and pastoralist’s exclusion in states policies while ecological stress on pastoral activities emerged with increasing focus on nature conservation in pastoral regions and climate change induced hazards and disasters. As a consequence of these challenges, pastoral households are abandoning livestock herding-as a traditional way of life and are in continuous transition to transform their pastoral practices and institutions. Thus, the attention and consultation of key stakeholders are needed toward pastoral resource development that improve and sustain traditional pastoral practices in a socio-politically and ecologically stressed environment of the world.

Key words: pastoralism, marginalization, pastoral system, pastures, livestock, pastoralists