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Project October 18, 2017

Climate Change and Sheepherding in Algeria

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Yousef Chergui herds on his uncle's land in the drying countryside of Algeria's Aurès Mountain region. Image by Yasmin Bendaas, Algeria 2016.
Yousef Chergui herds on his uncle's land in the drying countryside of Algeria's Aurès Mountain region. Image by Yasmin Bendaas, Algeria 2016.

In Algeria, climate change is threatening the livelihood of small-scale shepherds and a culture that has been passed down from generation to generation. In an effort to keep traditions alive and provide for their families, shepherds dig new wells or purchase water and expensive feed to cope with higher temperatures and decreased rainfall in the region. This rising cost in caring for their herds threatens the financial sustainability of small-scale shepherding, and younger herders are moving away from the industry. One herder, now in his late 60s, explained why his children chose not to follow in his footsteps. "It's not like it was before," he said. "There isn't rain."

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