International Year of Rangelands and Pastoralists Initiative ARCHIVE


Background on the IYRP Initiative (IYRP History, Process, Priority Themes and Way Forward (PPT))

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 which was recently completed (links below). In addition, a special "Ministerial Breakfast" event was held on 12 March 2019 at UNEA-4.  Most recently, the Mongolian Government presented a request for an IYRP designation at an open session of the October 2018 COAG meeting in Rome and the proposal was approved without reservations by the 2020 COAG meeting representatives. Currently 14 countries and 153 organizations from civil society have supported the proposal. Visit to hear pastoralist voices from around the world and to see the beauty of the world's rangelands! Please contact Jim O'Rourke ( or Maryam Niamir-Fuller ( for more information.


COAG Endorsement of IYRP: Press Release (October 2020)

FAO-COAG IYRP Proposal (August 2020)

Mongolia Government Proposal to FAO-COAG for an IYRP (August 2019)

Letters of Support for Mongolia Proposal received as of June 2020

Global Landscapes Forum: Drylands and Rangelands Session (Video; September 2019)

Gap Analysis Report - "A case of benign neglect: Knowledge gaps about sustainability in pastoralism and rangelands”

Gap Analysis Report - StoryMap Presentation

UNEA-4 Resolution: Innovations in sustainable rangelands and pastoralism (March 15, 2019) 

UNEA-4 Ministerial Breakfast Information (March 12, 2019)

UNEA-4 Ministerial Breakfast Report With Photos (March 12, 2019)

Pastoralists & Rangelands Deserve the Same Level of Global Attention as Forests & Agriculture (Storymap from GRID-Arendal, March 13, 2019)


Mongolian Proposal for an IYRP: Resources & COAG Results

IYRP Support Group (formerly called Steering Committee)

Regional IYRP Support Groups

Public Relations Materials

Presentations and Posters

Joint International Rangelands & Grasslands Congress, 2021

Global Grassland & Savannah Dialogue Platform

International Year Resolution Resources

Related Declarations

Upcoming and Past Events

Worldwide IYRP Activities

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

Film and Video Resources

Archive Section