WAMIP celebrates the declaration of 2026 as the International Year of Rangelands & Pastoralists

WAMIP launches an open letter and statement about the pastoralists views on what the way towards the IYRP should be, proposing a stronger presence and collaboration with the supranational bodies. First addressed to the GCG of the IYRP, the proposal is intended to constructively join efforts towards an inclusive and empowering process. In the words of Anders Oskal, representing reindeer herders from the Artic Region “nothing about us, without us”

Livestock at well, Isiolo, Kenya (Ian Scoones)

On 15 March 2022, the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in New York unanimously declared 2026 the International Year of Rangelands & Pastoralists (IYRP). This final approval is the culmination of an IYRP movement of which the Rangelands Initiative of the International Land Coalition is part of, and that grew over several years to become a global coalition of over 300 pastoralist and supporting organizations, including the several UN agencies. Building on these efforts, the Government of Mongolia and 68 co-sponsoring countries developed and put forward the resolution to UNGA.

WAMIP emphasize the importance of advocate for strengthening the capacity of the pastoral livestock sector and for increasing responsible investment in this sector and to give a clear voice to pastoralists, not merely as participants/ stakeholders but as rightsholders, which includes a clear role in co-management of the process and initiative. The main purpose is to put rangelands and pastoralists at the heart of policy debates, whether it is about combating climate crises, reducing poverty, managing threats to biodiversity, developing sustainable food systems or achieving the Sustainable Development Goals. In these debates, IYRP will help amplify the voices of pastoralists and scientists on the value of rangelands and pastoralism.

it is also needed to ensure that an open definition of what is considered rangeland is included in all documents and statements: not only grasslands, but also forests, tundra, mountains, and post-harvest cropland. The connectivity between rangelands is just as important as the rangelands themselves: animal trails, migration routes, seasonal pasture access, and effective mobility rights and recognition of pastoralists territories of life (Indigenous and community Conserves Areas and Territories “ICCAs”) and their customary governance systems are essential to ensure sustainable rangeland use.

To strengthen the management capacities of pastoral coordination at all levels, a new governing body with key pastoralist rightsholders and relevant stakeholders should be formed for IYRP, and funds to implement actions should involve the pastoralist’s governance institutions.