Spotlight on the International Year of Rangelands & Pastoralists (IYRP)

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The IGC/IRC 2021 offers a great opportunity for people around the world who are promoting the IYRP to make it more widely known and to engage in joint p lanning of activities between now and the IYRP in 2026.

About the IYRP

The objective of the IYRP is to increase understanding of the importance of rangelands and pastoralists for global wellbeing. Pastoralists are both users and stewards of the rangelands. This stewardship is critical for achieving food and water security, resilient economies and improved environmental conditions. However, many forces – including land conversion and fragmentation, damaging fire, invasive plants, harmful subsidies and rural exodus – threaten the productivity and ecological integrity of these lands. Rangeland degradation increases conflicts over diminishing natural resources, endangers national security, compromises economic productivity and robs our youngest generation of opportunities for a prosperous future. The condition of the world's rangelands is critical to our sustainable future, yet rangelands and pastoralists remain subject to widespread misperceptions, biases and knowledge gaps. 

The expected outcome of the IYRP is enlightened policy that leads to improved local livelihoods, enhanced environment services and sustainability of rangelands and pastoralism. Countries with large rangeland areas and pastoralist populations could gain access to multilateral funding that would increase scientists' and practitioners' capacities to monitor and predict trends in rangelands and livelihoods and to exchange findings, experiences and best practices. 

Examples of actions to be organised in the coming years leading up to and during the IYRP include:

  • Coordinated local to global social media and awareness campaigns to highlight key themes related to rangelands and pastoralists and increase their visibility to policymakers, consumers and rangeland users
  • National and regional events, awards, innovation fairs, video documentaries and educational materials
  • Analysis of gaps in existing data on rangelands and pastoralists, and transdisciplinary research to fill these gaps
  • Scientific congresses and pastoralist gatherings to share knowledge and develop strategies to deal with challenges and opportunities in rangelands
  • Global actions uniting environmental, social and economic aspects in an integrated vision.

Building on support from over 50 countries, led by Mongolia, and from over 160 non-governmental partners worldwide, including numerous pastoralist associations, the Committee on Agriculture and the Council of the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) endorsed the designation of an IYRP in 2026. 

IYRP at the IGC/IRC 2021

The main objectives of the IYRP-related activities during the Congress are to raise awareness about the IYRP, to gain greater support for it and to generate enthusiasm among researchers and practitioners to identify and fill the knowledge gaps about rangelands and pastoralists. 

By the end of the Congress, we hope to have achieved commitment to draft actions plans at national and regional level that would propel and organise activities both up to and during the IYRP in 2026.

The IYRP will feature in at least two keynote addresses during the Congress plenary. After that, three 90-minute Concurrent Sessions will be devoted to understanding the major issues concerning rangelands and pastoralists in different regions of the world and to planning for the IYRP.

"Don't miss the IYRP booth at the Trade Show during the Congress!"