Rangelands and pastoralism are linked to diverse ecosystems, cultures, identities, traditional knowledge and historical experience coexisting with nature. Rangelands support the livelihoods and food security of millions of people around the world and have many benefits, not only to herders, but also to other communities through biodiversity conservation, carbon sequestration and delivery of clean water. Pastoralists make the most of a variable environment by using strategic mobility seasonally.
However, droughts, floods, ecosystem degradation, animal diseases, pressure on land and increasingly erratic climate are compromising the economic productivity of rangelands and pastoralism, which risks exacerbating rural poverty due to the loss of pastoralists’ productive assets.
Productive rangelands and pastoralism have great potential to deliver on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and the International Year of Rangelands and Pastoralists represents an opportunity to raise international awareness on these issues of global concern.
This is the first time that the UN has given pastoralists and rangelands this recognition. Will it make a difference?
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