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Call for papers: Special issue of the Nomadic Peoples journal

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The Nomadic Peoples journal invites paper submissions for a special issue on ‘Pastoral resilience and transformation in the Hindu Kush Himalaya (HKH) and Central Asia.

Pastoralism, which involves the extensive use of rangelands for livestock grazing, is a vital livelihood strategy in the high mountains of south and central Asia where rangelands constitute the bulk of ecosystems. Over the centuries, it has co-evolved as unique bio-cultural systems shaping and being shaped by changes taking place in the rangelands and beyond. However, in recent decades, various factors such as climate change, globalisation, emergence of new technologies, domestic or geopolitical conflicts, and large-scale land use change for non-grazing purposes such as farming, biodiversity conservation, tourism and mining have massively affected the conditions of rangeland ecosystems, traditional pastoral practices, and the livelihoods of pastoral communities in the HKH and Central Asia. Historically, nomadic pastoralism has demonstrated remarkable resilience towards slow and frequent yet abrupt changes in biophysical, socio-economic, and geopolitical conditions through self-organisation, learning, and adaptation. There have been many cases where pastoral societies have made transformative changes by adopting new opportunities and new ways of life and production.

This special issue of Nomadic Peoples will examine the resilience and transformation of pastoral societies and pastoralism over the last 3-4 decades. It will present evidence concerning the vulnerabilities and resilience of pastoral systems and societies and their causes – both internal and external – in the context of the HKH (Afghanistan, Bhutan, China, India, Nepal, and Pakistan) and Central Asia (Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan). The issue will be cross-disciplinary in its focus and open to all relevant academic disciplines including applied sciences, ecology, environmental sciences, anthropology, geography, and development studies.

This special issue will organise selected contributions around ‘pastoral resilience and transformation’ supported by evidence on major drivers of change in pastoralism including climate change, globalisation and market economy, conservation, conflicts, rangeland functions and values, governance, politics and policies, new science and technologies, cultural assimilation, and use of local wisdom for adaptation and livelihood diversification.

Some examples of proposed topics for this special issue include, but are not limited to:

All submissions will be peer reviewed. The full manuscript should be submitted first to the guest editor for internal screening and approval. Full manuscripts can be submitted through the special issue link of Nomadic Peoples.

Nomadic Peoples webpage:

Guidelines for authors:

Special issue theme: Pastoral resilience and transformation in the Hindu Kush Himalaya and Central Asia

Important dates

Submission of full manuscript to guest editor: 30 December 2023

Submissions of full manuscript to journal: 30 January 2024

Decision date: 30 March 2024

Final version: 30 May 2024


Guest editors

Wu Ning, Professor, Chengdu Institute of Biology, CAS Chengdu, China (

Srijana Joshi, Ecosystem Specialist, ICIMOD, Kathmandu, Nepal (

Yi Shaoliang, Senior Rangeland and Biodiversity Specialist, ICIMOD, Kathmandu, Nepal (

Du Fachun, Professor, Yunnan Agriculture University, Kunming, China (

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