Dryland Forestry

COFO Working Group and International Year of Rangelands and Pastoralists 2026 collaborate on new Drylands Summer School


The Committee on Forestry (COFO) Working Group on Dryland Forests and Agrosilvopastoral Systems (WG) has announced the dates of the first Drylands Summer School, in collaboration with the International Year of Rangelands and Pastoralists (IYRP) 2026.

At the 26th Session of the Committee on Forestry in 2022, the COFO WG was strongly encouraged to support the IYRP 2026 by mobilizing their cross-regional expertise and promoting innovative and inter-connected sustainable agrosilvopastoral systems. Since then, the COFO WG has been working on combining knowledge and expertise with the IYRP and organising awareness-raising activities.

In that light, the COFO WG will be holding a series of Drylands Summer Schools as a joint initiative designed to increase awareness of the importance of restoring trees and forests in dryland and rangeland areas, advocate for the International Year itself, and create a cadre of sustainable dryland management champions ahead of 2026. The first Summer School will take place in Amman, Jordan, from the 12 – 15 September 2023 in parallel with COFO WG’s Third Session. It will be the first in a series of annual summer schools taking place in the run up to the IYRP in 2026, providing excellent opportunities for dryland professionals to deepen their knowledge and expertise on silvopastoralism and drylands, as well as contributing to the IYRP.

The call for applications to the Summer School will officially be launched on the 29 March at the launch event of the COFO WG’s new e-learning course on Transforming Dryland Forests and Agrosilvopastoral Systems. The e-learning course will be a pre-requisite for attending the Summer School, and its content will provide the basis of the School’s curriculum. The high-level launch event will take place on 29 March 10:00 – 11:30 CET, with interpretation in English, French, Spanish and Farsi. To attend the event, hear more about FAO’s transformation approach to dryland management and find out how to apply for the Summer School, stay tuned!

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