An International Year of Rangelands and Pastoralists looks like it may actually happen in 2026. The proposal passed the first round earlier in 2020 when the Mongolian Government presented it to the Committee on Agriculture of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation. It passed without any objections or questions!
Getting an international year declared by the United Nations is a complex process. This proposal needs to go through a couple more FAO meetings before presentation to the United Nation General Assembly for final approval.
The aims of the International Year of Rangelands and Pastoralists are to :
- Showcase important contributions of rangelands & pastoralists for
food security and environment,
- Increase worldwide understanding of complexities and values of rangelands and pastoral systems,
- Inform policymaking at all levels.
Much lobbying and several events have occurred over the past 4 years, which culminated in over 50 countries voicing support, including Thailand, Philippines, China, Peru, the European Union and many African countries. The Australian Government has also expressed its support for the International Year of Rangelands and Pastoralists (IYRP). Now it is time for countries to decide how an IYRP can benefit their countries and what activities can be run to support the monthly themes.
Regional IYRP Support Groups (RISGs)
We are creating multi-stakeholder Regional International Year Support Groups (RISGs) for Australia to:
- expand network of supporting organisations and governments in their regions
- work with Government of Mongolia and the International Support Group to plan and implement IYRP activities in our regions.
Pastoral organisations will play a central role in these activities around the world. In Australia we would like one representative from each state and territory. We already have a couple of people from Queensland and one in Canberra. We need people to represent all rangelands regions in Australia, ideally one person from each state for 2021. The time commitment should only be a few hours a month.
Would you like to help raise the profile of rangelands and the people that live in these rural and remote regions of Australia?
If you are interested in being involved, or you know someone who might like to be involved, please send (1) a very short outline of your background and skills, as well as (2) a sentence or two on why you would like to be involved (absolute max 1 page please) to Dana Kelly at email@example.com.
The IYRP could put the concerns of pastoralists back on the policy agenda of the nation and the world. More extreme rainfall patterns and warming temperatures in much of the Australian rangelands makes it even more important to acknowledge and encourage the role of pastoralists.
Specific IYRP information for pastoral groups can be found at https://iyrp.info/info-pastoralists