Dr. Cath Traynor of Natural Justice travelled to the Namaqualand area of the Northern Cape, South Africa to carry out Participatory Action (PAR) research with pastoralists and stock keepers in the area. She was accompanied by Reino Le Fleur, the project’s Community Co-Researcher from the Griqua community in Vredendal.
The PAR undertaken is part of the ‘Empowering Indigenous Peoples and Knowledge Systems Related to Climate Change and Intellectual Property Rights’ project. This project aims to assess how climate change is impacting communities, and how communities have produced indigenous knowledge related to addressing climate change and alternative strategies. The researchers interviewed an elder pastoralist and his son who is a stock farmer, and discussed similarities and differences in their livelihoods, and the impact of weather on their approaches and strategies to maintain healthy animals. Other elderly stock keepers were also interviewed and they shared their histories and experiences of stock keeping under changing environmental and socio-political conditions.
This research will contribute towards a process whereby the communities themselves will develop their own protocols regarding how they wish to collaboratively address the challenges of climate change in their own areas.