Migration and Conservation in the Bale Mountains Ecosystem
Human migration is playing a significant role in driving land conversion and sustaining the overexploitation of key natural resources in the Bale Mountains ecosystem, to the detriment of conservation and traditional livelihoods.
A similar process of land conversion is taking place in the absence of an influx of migrants, albeit at a much slower pace, and the ecosystem is under threat from a variety of factors, including population growth, changing climate conditions, and shifting livelihood strategies and socioeconomic expectations of the resident population. But in a context of rapid socioeconomic change and escalating internal population pressures, migration accelerates and intensifies the livelihood changes and associated land conversion processes that are inevitable in the long term. This will continue, unless effective and sustainable resource management systems are put in place.
This report presents an assessment of the migration context in the Bale Mountains ecosystem, as well as suggested response strategies. IISD, the Conservation Development Centre and the Frankfurt Zoological Society conducted the research with the generous support of the MacArthur Foundation. The research is part of the Migration and Conservation in the Great Lakes Region project, which attempts to address migration and conservation issues by: (a) developing a methodology to better understand the drivers and impacts of migration on critical natural resources, ecosystems and livelihoods in the Great Lakes region; (b) identifying effective responses for policy-makers and practitioners working on these issues; and (c) catalyzing further research and policy engagement on the topic in the region.