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 which was recently completed (links below).  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 it was formally supported by Ethiopia.  Now Mongolia is leading the effort to submit a formal resolution to be presented at the 2020 COAG Meeting. In addition, a special "Ministerial Breakfast" event was held on 12 March 2019 at UNEA-4.  Please contact Jim O'Rourke ( for more information.


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 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)



Resolution Resources

IYRP Support Group (formerly called Steering Committee)

Related Declarations

Support Proposals

Public Relations Materials 

Presentations and Posters

Upcoming and Past Events

Worldwide IYRP Activities

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

Video Resources

Archive Section