Centro de conocimiento pastoril

Recognizing the achievements of advocating for pastoralism and rangelands

The 2020 Partners’ Meeting of the Pastoralist Knowledge Hub opened its doors to all interested people

22/12/2020 -

Almost 200 relevant stakeholders interested in pastoralism – among them over 30 partners of the Pastoralist Knowledge Hub (PKH) – met virtually from 8 to 10 December 2020, to share and recognize the efforts accomplished towards sustainable pastoralism. The diversity of the meeting participants enriched the sessions with key information towards advocating for pastoralism and better targeted and supportive policies.

Thanks to its partnerships, the Pastoralist Knowledge Hub has made great progress in fulfilling the knowledge and advocacy gap about pastoral systems. The meeting witnessed activities and results from various parts of the world, from Eastern to Western Africa, from South and Central Asia to High Asia, passing through Europe and entailing a global discussion on the International Year of Rangelands and Pastoralists (IYRP).

The Mongolian Ambassador and Representative at FAO, H.E. Jambaldorj Tserendorj, in his opening remarks, highlighted the importance of rangelands to the pastoralist livelihood and a need to sustainably manage them. The partners from the Central Asia Pastoral Alliance presented their work within the region, highlighting their focus on sustainable rangeland management and tenure system, while focussing on policy and legal reform. Further to this, the South Asia Pastoral Alliance (SAPA), one of the Hub’s partners, also presented on its focus on securing diverse tenure systems and ensuring pastorals’ rights over rangelands.Currently, in India, SAPA is advocating for the national policy on commons and regeneration of rangelands/grasslands/pasturelands.

Evidence-based and targeted policies are crucial to pastoral systems; yet, due to the marginalization of pastoralism, policies and laws have often been lacking in their support. Mobility is a key strategy for pastoralists to mitigate climate change and is beneficial for the environment, pastoral economy and social and cultural status. The PKH’s partner Réseau Billital Maroobé presented on an interactive live dashboard that monitors mobility of herders under the COVID-19 restrictions. Mobility was also at the centre of the talk of three representatives of the European Shepherds Network, who pointed out the unprecedented initiative of UNESCO, which, on 11th December 2019, declared transhumance an “Intangible Heritage of Humanity”. Further, the forthcoming guidelines on Developing national legal and policy framework for pastoral mobility, developed under an initiative of the PKH, were presented during the meeting, highlighting the need and the means to facilitate the legislation process for pastoral mobility.

Afterwards, an enriching discussion on the ways forward for the establishment of the IYRP took place, deeply involving the meeting participants. The IYRP proposal was endorsed by the 27th session of the FAO Committee on Agriculture, in September-October 2020, and most recently approved by the 165th FAO Council, in December 2020. The IYRP highlights the importance of rangelands and pastoralists for nutrition, healthy ecosystems, income and employment generation, and other relevant dimensions of sustainable development. The next step for the IYRP approval is the 42nd FAO Conference in July 2021 and then the United Nations General Assembly in September 2021. The partners and all the meeting participants recognized the importance of such an initiative and expressed their availability and commitment in advocating for the IYRP and its activities.

Despite the constraints coming from the current global pandemic and the related physical restrictions, this Partners’ Meeting showed the understanding and synergies among the PKH and its partners. Partnership development and joint efforts are crucial to achieving effective outcomes, and the Hub and its partners wish to continue collaborating on knowledge generation, capacity building and advocacy initiatives.