Land & Water

Grassland Regeneration and Sustainability Standard (GRASS)

GRASS is a standard for sustainable rangeland management developed through experiences gained in a collaborative project involving The Nature Conservancy (TNC), Ovis XXI, rangeland scientists and grazing consultants, and a network of ranchers in the Argentinian and Chilean Patagonia. Patagonia’s 400 million acres of temperate grasslands provide many important ecosystems services including clean air and water, forage for livestock, carbon sequestration, and habitat for wildlife. Most land is privately owned and sheep ranching for wool and meat is the most prevalent land-use. Poorly managed ranching is a strong driver of desertification. GRASS aims to support sustainable production and livelihoods, while maintaining and restoring the health of grasslands. GRASS achieves this objective by establishing a quality assurance system for sustainable grasslands management in Patagonia by defining guidelines and procedures including validation and auditing processes. The standards work by (1) providing accreditation to farmers that have adopted good practices in grassland management and stewardship, and (2) promoting stable markets for high-quality grassland products, reflecting fair costs of production that will sustain the economic viability of accredited farms . Participating farms must have an approved management plan including conservation measures, rangeland and grazing management, protection of unique and high-valued areas, and grassland restoration activities. Rangeland conditions are measured by a suite of indicators including site stability, water and nutrient cycle health, and community dynamics. Each farm conducts ongoing monitoring and annual assessments to track progress towards management goals. Although GRASS has been developed for the Patagonia region, elements of the protocol are also being evaluated and applied in the USA and Mongolia.

Source (link)
Locality/ Farm/ Site
Biophysical approaches/tools
Software/Applications for land Resources Planning
Thematic areas
Agriculture - productivity
User Category