International Year of Rangelands and Pastoralists: A Mongolian proposal to the UN for 2026

During the 27th Session of the Committee on Agriculture (COAG27) of the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) delegates discussed, among other important items, the proposal by the Government of Mongolia to establish the observance of an International Year of Rangelands and Pastoralists (IYRP) in 2026. More than 50 governments and 150 organizations expressed their support to the proposal, which was endorsed by COAG on 2 October 2020 and will be further considered for approval at the next session of the General Assembly of the United Nations.

Rangelands and pastoralists can play an important role in contributing to the development of national economies and in supporting the livelihoods and food security of millions of people. When managed sustainably, they can provide ecosystem services, particularly in harsh environments such as arid and semiarid land and mountainous areas, and they can contribute to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), especially SDG 1, 2 and 15. 

COAG27 urged Member Nations to further build the capacity of pastoralists and continue or increase responsible investment in the sector, including sustainable land management practices, improved and restored ecosystems, access to markets, livestock health and breeding, and enhanced livestock extension services. All key elements in order to improve productivity, contribute to the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, and maintain and enhance biodiversity.

The IYRP, supported also by several members of the Global Agenda for Sustainable Livestock (GASL) and the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI), will raise awareness of the importance of rangelands and pastoralists for livelihoods, healthy ecosystems, and other relevant dimensions of sustainable development. 

Read GASL’ and ILRI’s opinion blog here.