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Misreading a pastoral property regime in the Logone floodplain, Cameroon

Mark Moritz, The Ohio State University


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This is a response to an article by Haller et al. (2013) in Ecology and Society titled “How fit turns into misfit and back: institutional transformations of pastoral commons in African floodplains.” In this response, I argue that Haller et al.’s description of the pastoralists’ management of common-pool grazing resources in the Logone floodplain of Cameroon is incorrect in a number of ways. I summarize the findings from our longitudinal and interdisciplinary study to show that current pastoralists’ management of common-pool grazing resources in the floodplain is efficient, equitable, and sustainable. Specifically, ecological research contradicts Haller et al.’s proposition that resource degradation is due to overgrazing in a situation of open access. This is an important point to clarify because pastoralists are often wrongly accused of overgrazing the range.

Key words

common-pool resources; floodplains; pastoralists; property regimes; rent seeking

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Ecology and Society. ISSN: 1708-3087