In its 165th Session held on 30 November to 4 December 2020, the FAO Council endorsed the draft FAO Conference resolution submitted by the 27th Session of Committee on Agriculture (COAG) on the observance by the UN of an “International Year of Rangelands and Pastoralists” (IYRP) in 2026.
The draft resolution in the annex of the Council report recognises that pastoralism is a dynamic and transformative livelihood linked to diverse ecosystems, cultures, identities, traditional knowledge and historical experience of coexisting with nature. It regards healthy rangelands as vital for contributing to economic growth, resilient livelihoods and the sustainable development of pastoralism.
It realises that rangelands and pastoralism have suffered from “benign neglect” in many countries. It stresses that natural resources need to be legally protected in order to manage grazing areas, wildlife, water sources, livestock movement, risk and resilience, and to enable land-use planning and ecosystem management by pastoralists and public entities. It points out that well-developed and fair production pastoral value chains can provide equitable economic opportunities.
It recognises the work of FAO, the scientific community, NGOs, pastoralist associations and other civil society actors in supporting sustainable rangelands and pastoralists. It also recognises the relevance for the work of the UN Environment Programme, the UN Convention to Combat Desertification and IFAD (International Fund for Agricultural Development) together with intergovernmental, private sector and civil society partners.
It points to the link between the IYRP and UN’s proclamation of the Decade of Family Farming and the Decade on Ecosystem Restoration, and acknowledges that efforts to achieve sustainable rangelands and pastoralism could help realise the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
It urges Member Nations to continue or increase responsible investment in the pastoral livestock sector, including for sustainable land-management practices, improved or restored ecosystems, access to markets, livestock health and breeding, and enhanced livestock extension services, in order to improve productivity, help reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and maintain and enhance biodiversity.
The Council stressed that costs for the implementation of the IYRP are to be covered by extra-budgetary resources to be identified.
The FAO Conference will meet on 12–16 July 2021. If it endorses the resolution, this will be considered in the next session of the UN General Assembly in September 2021, asking the Members to declare 2026 as the International Year of Rangeland and Pastoralists.
The documents from the FAO Council meeting can be found here, also in several other languages:
http://www.fao.org/about/meetings/council/cl165/documentsSee this press release also on the IYRP website: www.iyrp.info under “Follow the UN process”.