Empowering Afghan Herders to Build Peace


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Empowering Afghan Herders to Build Peace. Presented by Michael Jacobs (Texas A&M University) at the GL-CRSP End of Program Conference on June 17, 2009, Naivasha, Kenya.

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  • Afghanistan PEACE Project (Pastoral Engagement, Adaptation and Capacity Enhancement)Livestock production project…. focused on increasing extensive livestock
  • 4 year project in its 3rd yearDelivering /Institutionalizing LEWS, NIRS and LINKS within the MAIL
  • These tools are being incorporated as part of MAIL’s country-wide surveillance and monitoring program to assist the government to be more proactive in addressing rangeland issues.
  • These management tools are primarilydesigned to help herders. But their benefits are limited if herders can not actually reach important summer rangelands.
  • In Afghanistan, transhumanentpopulations of herdersare called Kuchi and make up about 8% of the total population. Yet, they are responsible for bringing about 70% of the livestock to the major markets in Afghanistan. The value of the meat, dairy and hide industry isimportant but their value in producing the wool for the carpet industry is even more valuable to the economy of Afghanistan. Estimated at $180 million USD per year.
  • Kuchi herders have a very long history of moving their animals between wintering lowland areas and summering mountain areas
  • 30 years of war has changed the way Kuchi move within the country.Large-scale rangeland conversion has blocked migration corridors
  • Villages are expanding control into public rangeland particularly in wintering areas
  • Criminals, ex-commanders and warlords still maintain local control over certain areas (security issues)
  • Government is still very weak in the rural areas (no control or management)Therefore, herders are faced with a variety of conflicts with villagers and ex-commanders and have no one to really help them.It is easy to understand that increasing livestock production in Afghanistan also depends on assisting extensive livestock producers to peacefully solve their conflicts. (e.g. addressing the loss of wintering areas or reaching summer rangelands.
  • Conflict resolution is another component of the PEACE project and focuses on conflict resolution training for the Kuchi people. Conflict resolution has always been a component in the project but it has become larger than we would have originally imagined. This has happened because of the situation in Afghanistan.
  • Our approach was very simpleUnderstand how the Kuchi as a culture organize themselvesUnderstand theirmeans of solving problemsBegin to deliver training and learn as we go
  • Kuchi are organized through the Independent department of Kuchi. This is newly formed department with little capacity or capital to really help Kuchi. This department has 30 provincial directors and we found that some of these were very interested in helping their people.Shuras are the venues that Kuchi useto solve their problems. Shuras are comprised of the most powerful and respected leaders in the province.
  • After learning this….we started by providing training to Kuchi Provincial Directors. These trainings were delivered in English but we found that they were relatively time consuming due to the translation. We then switched to Sanayee Development Organization, an Afghan NGO, because they have the ability to deliver this training in Dari or Pashto.
  • We also decided to start facilitating the monthly Provincial Kuchi Shuras. Provincial directors had no budget to hold these meetings and we felt that our peace and negotiation messages would begin to reach more Kuchi leaders this way. Also by supporting these meetings we were able to collect information about the Kuchi on a wide range of topics by clan by seasion. We are now supporting shuras in 13 Provinces. …..and we did this all with the assistance of the Independent Dept. of Kuchi.
  • The next step was to expand the capacity of the provinces to resolve conflicts. Provincial directors that demonstrated a commitment to peaceful resolution of conflicts were asked to select leaders from their provinces for this program.Today we have 9 leaders from 3 provincesthat have gone through a month-long training program. They are now back in their communities to mediate and resolve conflicts, to raise awareness, and to develop multi-ethnic peace shuras.These Kuchi have just held their first solo public awareness workshops in their provinces with 51 Kuchi leaders in attendance.
  • As the word spread about the training that we were providing for Kuchi leaders, we were approached by the Advisor to the President on tribal affairs. He requested that we attempt to provide similar trainings in an effort to resolve a long standing land dispute between the Kuchi and Harzara.Since 2008 we have brought together over 300 Kuchi and non-Kuchi leaders from 7 regions to engage in joint training exercises. From one particular training 10 Peace Ambassadors were selected to work at the community level to seek common ground to resolve the Besud Kuchi /Hazara issue. These pa’s are still engaged in this exercise but all signs are positive that resolution is possible at the community level.
  • None of what we have accomplished to date would have been as effective without our partnership with Sanayee Development Organization. Their ability to deliver peace building messages within the context and culture of the Afghan people has been inspiring. Now Mr. Dalili would like to tell you how his organization works.
  • They aim to build capacity in Communities and local government and encourage the two to interact.
  • Sanayee focuses their programs at the same levels that the PEACE Project was interested to address. That is another reason why our collaboration has continued to work so well.
  • Livestock Production is dependant on many different components and the current PEACE Project is focusing on several important ones. Information, Management, Conflicts, and Capacity building. With the foundation built in these areas we are interested to pursue a phase 2 for this project that would be more comprehensive in nature and include economic diversification for Kuchi Herders.
  • Empowering Afghan Herders to Build Peace

    1. 1. Afghanistan PEACE Project<br />Pastoral Engagement, Adaptation and Capacity Enhancement<br />GL-CRSP<br />
    2. 2. LEWS, NIRS, and LINKS<br />
    3. 3. Surveillance and Monitoring<br />
    4. 4. Information for Herders<br />
    5. 5. Percent of animals originating from Kuchi<br />Seller data from 6 major livestock markets across Afghanistan (n=1160)<br /><ul><li> Sheep 72%
    6. 6. Goats 64%
    7. 7. Cows 5%</li></li></ul><li>
    8. 8. Rangeland Conversion<br />
    9. 9. Expanding Villages<br />
    10. 10. Insecurity<br />
    11. 11. Management challenges<br />
    12. 12. Conflict Resolution<br />
    13. 13. Approach<br />Understand how the Kuchi as a culture organize themselves<br />Understand mechanisms used to solving problems<br />Begin to deliver training in the context of the above<br />
    14. 14. Kuchi Organization<br />
    15. 15. Capacity Building <br />Kuchi Provincial Directors from 26 Provinces<br />
    16. 16. Provincial Shura<br />Support Shuras in 13 Provinces<br />
    17. 17. Improve Capacity<br />3 Provinces with 9 trained Kuchi leaders<br />
    18. 18. Joint Trainings<br />Over 300 leaders trained<br />
    19. 19. Afghans helping Afghans<br />
    20. 20. Community-based Peace Building Program<br />Sanayee Development Organization (SDO)<br />
    21. 21. Who is Sanayee Development?<br /><ul><li>Est. 1990
    22. 22. Community-based Peace Building
    23. 23. Civil Society Development
    24. 24. Education
    25. 25. Community Health
    26. 26. 11 Provinces of Afghanistan</li></li></ul><li>No Development without Peace - No Peace without Development<br />Traditional decision-making assemblies are estimated to account for more than 80% of cases settled throughout Afghanistan (UNDP/Human Development Index 2007)<br />
    27. 27. Community Based Peace Building Program<br />Strengthen the capacity of community institutions of key district government officials<br />Promote and encouragea process of positive interaction between them<br />
    28. 28. Community Based Peace Building Program …continued<br />The focus of the Program<br />National Level<br />Provincial Level <br />(the council of elders)<br />District Level <br />(Peace Council)<br />Village Level <br />(Peace Shura)<br />
    29. 29. Livestock Production<br />
    30. 30. <ul><li>This research was made possible through support provided to UC Davis by the United States Agency for International Development Cooperative Agreement No. 306-A-00-06-00521-00 and through support provided to the Global Livestock Collaborative Research Support Program under the terms of USAID Grant No. PCE-G-00-98-00036-00</li>