|Animal Husbandry - Initial Environmental Assessment Series No. 2 (NORAD, 1994)|
|Part I: General account|
|3 Possible environmental impacts|
Initiatives concerning grazing require surveys of existing terms of tenure and privileges tied to the areas. Specific conditions attending communal ownership may create conflicts if initiatives are aimed at making the management more efficient (cf. chapter 2.2).
Conflicts may occasionally arise between forestry and livestock interests. It may be necessary to consider the livestock project against the consequences of a reduction in forested areas, for example. Questions concerning food supplies, subsistence, risk of erosion, local climatic changes and preservation of a biological variety should be considered in this context.
Major projects based on sales of products beyond the local area should not be started until a market survey has been performed. Questions concerning processing, preservation and transportation of the products should also be closely considered. Wherever the conditions are favourable, decentralized livestock projects may have their advantages, ea. better feed supplies, less pressure of infection and better utilization of manure and other by-products. Establishment of cooperatives, cooperative groups, etc. can be advantageous under such conditions.
Major projects may cause the removal of people from their settlement areas, and/or initiate an unintended immigration into the project area by people looking for work or possibilities of trading. In either case, the project ought to assess the need to make provisions for settlement, so as to minimize risks of pollution, spreading of diseases, increased and uncontrolled exploitation of natural resources and social conflicts.
It is important that the establishment of livestock projects takes place in agreement with the local population. Herding is normally carried out by men or young boys who often have a good knowledge of which is the best pasture and where water can be found. In many places, moreover, women are in charge of the family household and health, in addition to having the responsibility for collecting water, feeding and tending the animals. Introduction of new animals may increase the burden of work for women. With regard to milking and the making of milk products, an improved technique can relieve the work pressure, since traditional methods are often time-consuming. If there are insufficient amounts of feed and water near the household, women may have to spend much time collecting feed and water rather far away from their homes. Introduction of draught animals, ea. donkeys, may somewhat alleviate the situation. Experience shows that women and children to a greater extent than men are affected by pollution from fertilizers, as they spend more time near to home and the animals. Pollution of water sources from manure can also be a reason why women will have to collect water from farther away than previously.