Maryam Niamir-Fuller, Vice Chair of the IYRP International Support Group.  Email:


Dear All

We would like to bring you up to date on progress in designating an International Year of Rangelands and Pastoralists (IYRP). This update is also available on

In summary, the IYRP designation for 2026 is only one step away. A lot of momentum has built up in the past few weeks, but we need the word to spread much further and count on your support to do so.


UN process related to IYRP

The FAO Conference in June 2021 endorsed the proposal from the Government of Mongolia for designating the IYRP for 2026, and asked the FAO Director General to transmit that proposal to the UN General Secretary for consideration by the 76th UN General Assembly (UNGA) in September 2021. Through the IYRP social media outlets and the support of Yolda Initiative, 30,000 people were reached in the run-up to and during the FAO Conference. We thank all IYRP supporters for their great efforts, and especially the Mongolian Embassy in Rome and FAO for their steadfast support during the Conference.


Status of support for IYRP

There are now 275 organizations formally supporting the IYRP proposal, including non-governmental and multilateral organizations, and five State (Provincial) Governments. This is up from 250 in May. The North America and Australasia regions saw an impressive increase in supporting organizations. Ten new members have been added to the South Asia Regional IYRP Support Group (RISG). See the distribution of these organizations worldwide on the following map:


IYRP supporting events in June up to 12 July 2021

The following events were either organized by IYRP partners or included IYRP partners who raised awareness about the designation of the Year.

  • High-Level Political Forum (HLPF) on Sustainable Development, Side Event “Sustainable pastoralism and rangelands: impacts of Covid, and how not to leave them behind in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development”, 6 July 2021 – organized by the Government of Mongolia and the International Support Group for the IYRP. See the video recording of the side event:
Central Asia and Mongolia RISG
  • Participation in UNFSS National Dialogue organized by Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Light Industry of Mongolia to bring in voices of pastoralists
South Asia RISG
  • Participation in League for Pastoral Peoples webinar “Mapping for Pastoralists”, 25 May 2021
  • Webinar “Recognising pastoralists for their knowledge, local breeds and biodiversity conservation”, International Day of Biodiversity, 22 May 2021
  • Webinar with Centre for Pastoralism on “Deciphering pastoralism in the Indian context”
  • Interactive Session on Rangelands with support of ILRI, 7 July 2021
East Asia RISG
  • 2021 National Annual Conference of Chinese Grassland Society in Hefei City, China; special presentation on IYRP helped identify more academic institutions and private enterprises interested in contributing to IYRP, and discussions were held with high officials from Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs (MARA) and Provincial Departments
East and Southern Africa RISG
  • RISG–ESA is analysing policies related to rangelands and pastoralism identify those favourable for or constraining pastoralism; intention is to have better basis for improved policies in the region
Europe RISG
North America RISG
  • Special presentation on IYRP at Annual Trilateral Commission for Wildlife and Ecosystem Conservation and Management (USA, Canada, Mexico), 3 June 2021 , a timely opportunity as the participants are enhancing cooperation for grasslands conservation and sustainable use
  • Webinar “Why IYRP matters to the USA” for several federal departments of the Government of USA, 7 June 2021. The link can be found here:


Upcoming events

  • UNFSS (UN Food Systems Summit) Pre-Summit parallel session “Mobile Pastoralism Valuing Rangeland Variability: A game-changing idea for sustainable consumption and production from the livestock sector”, 26 July 2021, 13:30–14:20 CEST (UTC+2), organized by IYRP/ISG; to register:
  • 1st International and 8th National Conference on Rangeland Management in Iran, 14–15 July 2021; Dr Dana Kelly will give a keynote speech on IYRP and a poster and video clip prepared for IYRP will be broadcast during the relevant sessions.
  • Virtual workshop “Pastoral Communities’ Territories of Life in Asia: Tales of Coexistence of Nature and People”, 16 July 2021, 16:00–20:00 ULAT (UTC+8); to register: 
  • Joint International Grassland and International Rangeland Congress, 23-29 October 2021, Nairobi, Kenya, will have three parallel sessions on IYRP:
  • UNFCCC COP 26 (December 2021): efforts are underway by IYRP Partners to bring rangelands and pastoralism to the attention of the UNFCCC delegates, including a scientific compilation of evidence about the carbon footprint of pastoralism and rangelands, and a potential side event on “Pastoralism, making variability work”.


New documents and resources on ‘online booth’ website

  • Opening page: video messages from FAO Deputy Director General Maria Helena Semedo and Mongolian Minister of Food, Agriculture & Light Industry H.E. Mendsaikhan Zagdjav; trailer for Pastoralism Film Festival
  • Under News & Resources (global): Updated versions of 1-page and 4-page IYRP flyer; animated video ”Pastoralism is the future” in English, French, Spanish, Dutch & German with accompanying paper in English and Spanish


Further updates about communications

  • Key messages for UNGA campaign are being finalized by communications team after review by Global Coordinating Group. Campaign will start in week of 23 August; all friends of the IYRP are urged to share the messages.
  • On IYRP social-media channels, statistics to date are: Twitter – 143 followers (our tweets earned 39.7 impressions over the last 28 days); Facebook – 89 followers (our posts reached 2316 people between 11 June and 8 July), Instagram – 82 followers.


Please follow the IYRP on these channels!  If you wish to get more involved please the contact the Chairs of the RISG for your region.  The RISG contact for Australasia is Sarah McDonald –


Australasia IYRP Regional Support Group Update from Sarah McDonald


  • We currently have 7 members of the Australasia IYRP regional support group. We are seeking additional members to assist with preparing for the IYRP, in particular from South Australia, Western Australia and the Northern Territory. We are also looking for someone to take on the communications role for the Australasia area – Please get in touch if you are interested in this!
  • The Australasia RISG has contacted over 70 Organisations within Australia and New Zealand with links to the rangelands and pastoralism, with 13 letters of support so far received and sent to the Mongolian Government. Letters of support will continue to be sought and accepted over the next few months leading up to the UN General Assembly in September.
  • The next key tasks the Australasia group will be working on include developing content for the Australasia page of the IYRP website, greater promotion of the IYRP via social media channels and preparing themes and activities for the International Year of Rangelands and Pastoralists, should the year be approved at the UN General Assembly.