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Moving towards sustainable pastoralism

Partners resolve to coordinate policy advocacy better


11/04/2017 -

Herders’ representatives and development organizations from around the world have agreed to promote sustainable pastoralism and coordinate their advocacy work. Over 14 partners of the Pastoralist Knowledge Hub, a FAO initiative launched in 2015, met in Rome on April 3, 2017, to discuss how to support pastoralism. The participants included representatives of pastoralists’ groups, research and development organizations, and governments.

Better coordination will strengthen the presentation of pastoral concerns at international policy forums, the partners concluded. They will work together to raise awareness on the benefits of pastoralism and press for pastoralist-friendly legislation.

Past successes have included a resolution on ‘Combating desertification, land degradation and drought and promoting sustainable pastoralism and rangelands’, adopted by the United Nations Environment Assembly in May 2016, and the Cancun statement on ‘Promoting sustainable pastoralism and livestock production for the conservation of biodiversity in grasslands and rangeland’ at the Convention on Biological Diversity in December 2016.

“We need to secure the mobility of pastoralists and advocate for effective legislation”, says Badi Besbes, head of FAO’s Animal Genetics and Production Systems Branch. Strategies discussed by the partners include approaches of the new FAO guide, “Improving governance of pastoral lands” that provides advice on securing pastoralist livelihoods, herd mobility and land tenure. Biocultural community protocols are a way to document herders’ traditional practices to protect and encourage customary use of resources.

Representatives from pastoral networks from Latin America, Central Asia and West Africa presented the challenges they face. They underlined the need for mobile herds to cope with uncertain, variable climate and pasture availability. They called for pastoralist-friendly legislation that takes pastoral land management and mobility into account. They also discussed the herders’ need to cross international borders to find water, pasture and markets for their animals.

The partnership will coordinate their next advocacy steps. The Pastoralist Knowledge Hub will continue to work towards building the capacity of pastoral networks and advocate for livestock mobility, as recommended by the partners.

  

Pastoralist Knowledge Hub’s Partners’ Meeting