Better management of neglected sector would boost water regulation and biodiversity and sequester up to 9.8 per cent of anthropogenic carbon emissions
Pastoralism—extensive livestock production in the rangelands—provides enormous benefits to humanity and should be supported as a key element of the global transition to a green economy, according to a new report released today by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).
Released at the 3rd Scientific Conference of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) in Cancun, Pastoralism and the Green Economy – a Natural Nexus?, highlights pastoralism’s role in safeguarding natural capital across a quarter of the world’s land area.The report finds that sustainable pastoralism on rangeland ecosystems—such as desert grasslands, woodlands and steppes—maintains soil fertility and soil carbon and contributes to water regulation and biodiversity conservation. It also provides other goods such as high-value food products.
Pastoralism is practiced by up to half a billion people across the globe. Despite its clear benefits, decades of underinvestment have eroded the lifestyle in many developing countries. Reversing this decline and realizing pastoralism’s full green economy potential will require leadership and the establishment of a global development framework for sustainable pastoralism, the report says.