Abstract for:Understanding Changes in Governance Systems of Banni Grassland, in India

The Banni grasslands, in the arid north-west Indian district of Kutch in the state of Gujarat, has historically been home to pastoralist communities collectively known as Maldharis. The Maldharis were traditionally livestock breeders, and are now largely milk producers. There are more than 50 villages in the Banni with almost as many different pastoralist communities. Its total area of 2500 sq km is divided into three sub-regions, based on the geographical location in the landscape and cultural differences. This makes Banni a very heterogeneous system, both socially and biophysically.The causal loop diagram presented in this paper portrays the structural interconnections between different variables of the governance system and that the traditional governance systems are in flux due to a variety of ongoing changes in Banni. This forms part of a larger ongoing modeling exercise with the aim to develop a system dynamics based multi-stakeholder decision support tool for identifying sustainable management plans of the Banni grasslands. This tool would be used to facilitate a series of workshops between different groups and committees that would become responsible for decision-making once the communities are granted collective rights to manage the Banni landscape.