Dr. Maryam Niamir-Fuller, Co-Chair of International Support Group for the IYRP


Dear Friends and Supporters of IYRP 2026

We have received so many congratulatory messages from all quarters for the proclamation of IYRP 2026. Thank you all for your kind and very effective support!

As of now, there are 306 organizations that have sent formal letters/logos in support, and letters and logos are still coming in (see https://www.iyrp.info/friends-of-iyrp). These are 48 pastoralist organizations, 232 civil society organizations and 6 inter-governmental organizations. This is in addition to the 102 governments who have either sent letters, or spoken in favor during UN meetings, or co-sponsored the UN General Assembly resolution. Now that the IYRP 2026 has been proclaimed, we are encouraging more organizations to send letters – this time with the intent of showing how they aim to engage with initiatives and activities for the year 2026.

All of us now have 3 years to start planning, setting the stage, and securing the resources for a very impactful International Year. The International Support Group, and its Global Coordinating Group (GCG), will continue to actively work on this, paving the way for the formal establishment of the International Steering Committee for IYRP 2026 by FAO, expected in 2025.

We have had a leadership turnover: Chair Jim O’Rourke has stepped down so as to focus on the North American regional support group – we are all immensely grateful to Jim for his steadfast leadership and insights over these long years. The co-chairs of the GCG are now Igshaan Samuels (Agricultural Research Council, South Africa and formerly co-chair of the Eastern and Southern Africa Regional IYRP Support Group) and myself. The Regional IYRP Support Groups (RISGs) will be ramping up their activities and working to expand the network.  A sub-group is focusing on how to reach and inform millions of pastoralists about the IYRP and find ways for them to participate and benefit.  Another sub-group is looking at how to achieve impact on policy change by 2026 through awareness raising in selected global events, such as UNFCCC (UN Framework Convention on Climate Change), CBD (Convention on Biological Diversity), UNCCD (UN Convention to Combat Desertification) and human rights processes.  We will also be working closely with the UN Decade for Ecosystem Restoration, the UN Decade of Family Farming, and two other recently proclaimed International Years – IYM 2022 (Mountains) and IYC 2024 (Camelids). If you wish to get actively involved in these sub-groups, please send an email directly to Maryam and Igshaan.

Please click here for more news of our activities at the global and regional levels between April and June 2022, as well as news of upcoming events that you can participate in.