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 has involved discussions with people around the world via email and face-to-face meetings. 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. Discussions were also held at the July 2016 International Rangeland Congress in Saskatoon and with key officials in Washington D.C. in August. In addition, on 14 December, a Side Event was held at the 2016 Convention on Biological Diversity Conference of Parties (COP 13) titled: World's Grasslands and Rangelands at Risk: the role of pastoralists and livestock to conserve global biodiversity (see below "Cancun Statement").  Numerous other meetings and events took place in 2017 and an IYRP Steering Committee is now meeting regularly to coordinate the effort.  For more information, contact Jim O'Rourke ( or Barbara Hutchinson (


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