International Year of Rangelands and Pastoralists Initiative


Beginning in early 2016, many organizations began working together to gain support for a United Nations designated International Year of Rangelands and Pastoralists (IYRP). This led to the formalization of an IYRP Steering Committee that has spearheaded this effort by actively engaging with colleagues and interested parties around the world. The Steering Committee has coordinated numerous meetings and events, and has worked with members to gain the support of their respective governments for the IYRP. One important event brought particular attention to this effort. The United Nations Environment Assembly conference held in Nairobi in May of 2016 (UNEA-2) included a Side Event on “Sustainable Pastoralism and the Responsible Consumption of Livestock”. The outcome of UNEA-2 was a successful resolution “Combating desertification, land degradation, and drought and promoting sustainable pastoralism and rangelands”. While this resolution did not include a provision for an International Year, it did include language calling upon organizations around the world to “contribute to raising the awareness of sustainable pastoralism and rangelands.” It also called for a worldwide gap analysis related to rangelands issues; this analysis is expected to be completed in 2018. Current efforts are focused on a Resolution for an IYRP drawn up by Kenyans in 2017 (see under Related Declarations below), and proposed in early 2018 by their Ministry of Agriculture to their Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The expectation is that the Kenyan Government will submit the proposed Resolution to the Director General of FAO for consideration. Organizations in many other countries, starting with Kyrgyzstan and Iran, have agreed with this strategy and are preparing letters of support for the Kenya Resolution. Still more are expected to follow.  Please contact Jim O'Rourke ( for more information.




Resolution Resources

IYRP Steering Committee

Related Declarations

Support Proposals

Public Relations Materials 

Presentations and Posters

Upcoming and Past Events

Worldwide IYRP Activities

Background Resources (Web, Guides, News, and Photos)

Video Resources