Centro de conocimiento pastoril

Nature-based Restoration and Multipurpose Use of Rangelands: Promising solutions to benefit our planet and people

02/06/2022 -

The Government of Mongolia, represented by its Ambassador to Sweden, H.E. Janabazar Tuvdendorj and Director-General Enkhbat Altangerel, stressed the importance of rangelands, including grasslands – which cover 54% of the Earth’s land mass – for climate, biodiversity, water security, cultural and economic significance, and pastoral livelihoods. Pastoral mobility has evolved over millennia, with nature adapting to and giving value to variability and uncertainty, which is now increasing because of climate change. Political momentum has been growing in the past few years to recognize the importance of this ecosystem, culminating in the designation of the International Year of Rangelands & Pastoralists (IYRP) in 2026 by the United Nations (UN) through the leadership of the Government of Mongolia and supported by 102 countries.

Several pastoralist voices from around the world were heard: Sámi in the Arctic (Anders Oskal), Fulani in West Africa (Harouna Abarchi), pastoralists in Italy (film), Mongolian pastoralist (Maamankhu Sodnom) and Borana in Kenya (Hussein Tadicha Wario). Also heard were views of scientists (Fiona Flintan, International Livestock Research Institute), the Government of Spain (Dep. Dir. Gen. Fernando Mas), the UN (FAO Maria Helena Semedo and United Nations Development Programme Pradeep Kurukulasuriya), and Civil Society (International Union for Conservation of Nature Director General Bruno Oberle and Joao Campari of World Wildlife Fund).

Pastoralists are stewards of the rangelands: “We are so connected to our animals and lands that it does not make sense to look at them separately”. Several examples of best practices were highlighted, such as improving and securing transhumance routes, the importance of pastoralist cooperatives, and co-benefits from renewable energy installations in rangelands. 

Three Urgent Actions were recommended:

Action 1: Stockholm+50 to call on countries to urgently stop conversion of rangelands, including grasslands and savannahs, and to restore 50% by 2030 through pastoralist community participation in nature-based sustainable solutions.

Action 2: Stockholm+50 to call on countries and the private sector to ensure that the deployment of large-scale renewable energy schemes in rangelands, including grasslands and savannahs, are mutually beneficial for pastoralists and ecosystems without unintended negative social and environmental impacts.

Action 3: To strengthen a global coalition/platform for the sustainable stewardship and nature-based restoration of rangelands, including grasslands and savannahs (recently launched at UNCCD COP 15), securing sustainable livelihoods for all pastoralists and benefiting the planet.

In closing remarks, Deputy Director-General of UN FAO, Ms Maria Helena Semedo, noted that rangelands have substantial untapped potential for carbon sequestration, resilience and adaptation. And over the years, FAO and partners have supported the sustainable development of rangelands – implementing projects that aim to secure pastoralists’ tenure rights and advocate for the legislation of mobility. She stated that FAO considered it a privilege when the United Nations General Assembly gave it the honour of leading the International Year of Rangelands and Pastoralists, which takes place in 2026. But we cannot wait four years to act. She called upon all countries and partners to invest in the sustainable management and restoration of rangelands in inclusive, community-focused, equitable and sustainable ways – starting now.