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Nigeria: Livestock reform is key to solving farmer-herder conflict
Nigeria: Livestock reform is key to solving farmer-herder conflict
Report 233 / Europe & Central Asia

中亚地区的水资源危机

水资源的分配争端使得拔汗那山谷(Ferghana Valley)地区日趋紧张的形势愈发恶化。为解决这一问题,吉尔吉斯斯坦、塔吉克斯坦和乌兹别克斯坦三国应立刻改变它们将水资源和能源作为政治工具的做法,并在就这一严峻问题寻求综合解决方案之前,三方应将重点放在如何达成一系列更现实的双边协定之上。

执行摘要

在中亚地区,水资源一直是引发矛盾和冲突的重要原因。吉尔吉斯斯坦和塔吉克斯坦两国拥有丰富的水资源,而其余三国则称其未能从该地区的两条主要河流——锡尔河(Syr Darya)和阿姆河(Amu Darya)——中获得它们应有的份额。锡尔河和阿姆河起源于天山山脉、帕米尔高原和兴都库什山脉,流经中亚地区汇入残存的咸海。其中,吉尔吉斯斯坦、塔吉克斯坦和乌兹别克斯坦三国水资源短缺的情况尤其严重、且日趋恶化。自2000年来,中亚地区的人口增长了近1000万人,原本就有限的耕地资源由于过度开垦和落后的农业技术而遭到进一步的破坏。该地区广泛的腐败和破旧的基础设施亦使问题进一步地恶化,同时气候变化也可能对这一地区产生长期的负面影响。在经济疲软和政权脆弱的情形之下,民族主义、边界纠纷和地区紧张局势使各国更加难以就水资源分配而达成共识、研制解决方案。该地区急需找到一个解决水资源及相关问题的新方法,即,建立一系列相关且易实现的双边协定,而不是妄想通过单个综合性方案来一劳永逸地解决问题。

随着苏联1991年解体的还有其在中亚地区实施的资源分配系统,并由此致使了该地区的水资源危机。原苏联体系下,在夏季,吉尔吉斯斯坦和塔吉克斯坦向哈萨克斯坦、土库曼斯坦和乌兹别克斯坦供水;在冬季,两国则接受来自哈萨克斯坦、土库曼斯坦和乌兹别克斯坦的煤炭和电力。到1990年代末,这一体系便已瓦解,当时各方虽签署了一系列的双边、地区协定和决议,但也未能解决矛盾。而国际预防危机组织曾于2002年指出的诸多问题——基础设施落后、水资源管理效率低下、灌溉技术落后——至今仍未得到解决,而其安全环境更是趋于恶化。

各国领导人均未表现出为解决重要地区性问题而通力合作的诚意。吉尔吉斯斯坦、塔吉克斯坦和乌兹别克斯坦受水资源危机影响最深,但三国之间的嫌隙却日趋加深。塔吉克斯坦总统埃莫马利·拉赫蒙(Emomali Rahmon)和乌兹别克斯坦总统伊斯拉姆·卡里莫夫(Islam Karimov)多年以来关系一直十分冷淡,卡里莫夫和他的部长们更是不断发出挑衅言辞。国际社会——包括俄罗斯、欧盟和美国在内——称若中亚各国仍然固守对国家利益的狭隘理解,他们便难以从中斡旋。若要解决各国在上游水电项目上的利益分歧,这需要它们进行深入且高层次的决议。尽管某些旨在改善供水的地区性努力已初见成效(多数为捐助项目),腐败却使得具有长远目标的行动计划付诸东流。吉尔吉斯斯坦、塔吉克斯坦和乌兹别克斯坦三国政府未能更新其对水依赖性强的产业(例如能源产业和农业),而这则增加了他们互相的依赖。

尽管水资源问题极为复杂,但却并非全然无望解决。某瑞士水资源专家指出,“水资源或会成为诱发冲突的导火索,但其也可能成为促进和平的驱动器。”作为一个客观性问题,水资源的公平分配和与之伴生的能源交换将有望为所有国家带来实际利益。若能把水资源问题从更为复杂的边界和飞地问题分离开、并进行单独探讨,那中亚各国则有望化解冲突、甚至最终消解冲突。更加完善的水资源基础设施和管理项目将有助于打造和平与政治稳定,同时促进发展和经济增长。

然而,由于各国之间缺乏信任,它们企图一揽子解决地区问题的努力均以失败告终。吉尔吉斯斯坦、塔吉克斯坦和乌兹别克斯坦(及其背后的国际盟友)应在三国交界的拔汗那山谷地区,为停止年复一年的水资源纠纷和冲突而有所行动。通过将水资源问题分解为更易处理的部分,三国及其国际盟友可从沿着概念和地理,线性地寻求循序渐进、阶段性的解决方案,而非企图通过一个方案来一劳永逸地解决所有资源问题。如果乌兹别克斯坦不愿参与,吉尔斯斯斯坦和塔吉克斯坦则应展开双边合作。与此同时,它们应寻求高层调停,并解决乌兹别克斯坦反对上游水电项目的问题。

这一设想未必一定奏效,但它至少能为上述三国提供——实现基础设施现代化、改进水资源管理能力、培养新一代技术专家——的机会。该系列协定的设想还将为其他急需合作解决的问题树立榜样、有望缓解地区矛盾冲突、并且同时改进该地区广大居民的生活条件。

比什凯克/布鲁塞尔,2014年9月11日

Op-Ed / Africa

Nigeria: Livestock reform is key to solving farmer-herder conflict

Originally published in The Africa Report

Land disputes between nomadic herders and sedentary farmers occurred sporadically in Nigeria’s past, and relations between the two groups were largely amicable.

However, in recent years, violence between herders and farmers has alarmingly grown, spreading from the north to the central and southern states.

Violence between the two groups has claimed more lives than the Boko Haram jihadist insurgency in the north-east, disrupting rural communities and threatening Nigeria’s stability and food security.

The combination of environmental degradation and violence (attributable to climate change, high population growth, Boko Haram insurgency and armed criminal activity such as cattle rustling) has pushed herders from the north of the country southward in search of pasture and water, resulting in almost daily clashes with farming communities. The intensity of the violence varies from region to region, but so far, Nigeria’s north-west and north-central zones have been hit hardest.

Nigerian authorities responded by deploying security forces to the affected areas but later realised that a military response was insufficient to deal with the main cause of herder-farmer conflict: competition over land and water.

In 2019, following a surge in violent incidents the previous year, they adopted an ambitious, 10-year National Livestock Transformation Plan (NLTP) that aims to alter these deadly patterns.

In a nutshell, the plan encourages pastoralists to switch to ranching and other sedentary livestock production systems. By the end of 2028, authorities expect to have at least 119 ranches operating across several states, with the hope that more mechanised forms of livestock production will bolster the sector’s productivity.

Abuja projects that the planned establishment of ranches, alongside the resuscitation of long-neglected public grazing reserves, will create over two million jobs, mostly in the meat, dairy processing and marketing chains.

The federal government has committed to funding 80% of proposals submitted by participating states, while state governments and private investors are to provide the remaining 20%. Donors are also prepared to help.

The new plan was not Nigeria’s first attempt at developing a strategy to reduce competition for resources among herders and farmers, but it is the country’s most comprehensive livestock reform bid to date.

The new plan was not Nigeria’s first attempt at developing a strategy to reduce competition for resources among herders and farmers, but it is the country’s most comprehensive livestock reform bid to date. Many state governments, especially in the north, welcome the move with enthusiasm, and some have already demarcated grazing reserves or applied for funding from the federal government to set up ranches.

Misperceptions and misgivings

However, implementation has been slow. Two years after the launch of the NLTP, the first ranch is yet to be put up. A major obstacle is widespread distrust of the plan among herders and farmers.

Doubtful of the viability of ranches and grazing reserves, many herders are lukewarm about supporting the plan.

Doubtful of the viability of ranches and grazing reserves, many herders are lukewarm about supporting the plan. Leaders of some herders’ groups complain that 10 years is too short for pastoralists to adopt a sedentary lifestyle, which will have far-reaching cultural and social changes from nomadic communities. They also have legitimate doubts about sufficiency of the pasture that is to be made available in grazing reserves.

Additionally, farmers worry that they may be forced to hand over their land to livestock producers. Others are concerned that the reforms will unduly favour the nomadic Fulani community – fears partly attributable to the fact that President Muhammadu Buhari is a Fulani.

Lack of funding (compounded by the economic fallout from the Covid-19 pandemic) as well as a dearth of technical experts and competent ranching staff has further thwarted progress.

Meeting the challenge

Nigerian authorities should work with donors and private sector partners to urgently address these and other challenges. Despite the government’s acknowledgement of the need for long-term solutions to promote peaceful coexistence between herders and farmers, only preliminary steps have been taken to implement the NLTP.

Abuja and supportive state governments should display stronger political backing for the new plan, improve public communication and win the support of herders and farmers by assuaging their concerns and dispelling misperceptions about NLTP’s purpose.

Furthermore, federal and state governments should engage with donors and investors to ease funding shortfalls. They should also increase efforts to build up expertise and train people on how to manage ranches and grazing reserves.

Reducing criminal violence, especially in the north-west and north-central zones, should be an urgent priority for the government.

A major concern is the proliferation of deadly criminal gangs and other armed groups that are cutting off access to grazing reserves and scaring away potential investors. Reducing criminal violence, especially in the north-west and north-central zones, should be an urgent priority for the government.

Authorities will also need to address two striking gaps. First, it does not mention how Nigeria intends to deal with foreign transhumant migrants or cattle herders from neighbouring countries who move their herds across borders as seasons change. Second, it does not adequately consider the potential impact of climate change on the livestock sector and ranching.

Less than two years from now, Nigeria will hold general elections: Buhari and many state governors are ineligible to compete, having served the maximum number of terms.

If the plan is to survive the change of government, the Buhari administration must deliver concrete, visible results that can win over both herders and farmers, such as new ranches or functional grazing reserves.

They should accommodate this effort, and partners should support them by offering resources to help them succeed. The plan is far from perfect, but it offers the best chance to modernise Nigeria’s inefficient livestock sector and quell the herder-farmer conflict that undermines the stability of Africa’s most populous country.

Contributors

Interim Vice President & Program Director, Africa
EroComfort
Senior Adviser, Nigeria
NnamdiObasi