A Case of Benign Neglect: Knowledge Gaps About Sustainability in Pastoralism and Rangelands - Executive Summary

United Nations Environment Programme ; GRID-Arendal (2019)

Pastoralism is practiced by millions of people worldwide. It has roots in every part of the world and back thousands of years to the beginning of agriculture. But while pastoral societies have existed for millennia, we still don’t know that much about the interlinkages between pastoral practices and the rangelands these depend upon. It’s as if they are invisible in a lot of research about the global environment. There are many questions we cannot answer today with confidence because of widespread gaps in understanding rangelands and pastoralists. Yet, the answers to these questions have profound implications for national and global policy – and influence on how we will deal with climate change. This report directly responds to one of the resolutions approved at the United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA) in May 2016, which acknowledges the dearth of information on pastoralism and rangelands. The resolution calls for a gap analysis of environmental and socioeconomic information and the provision of technical support for promoting pastoralism and rangelands. This report is also guided by the mandate of UN Environment to conduct integrated assessments and analyses, the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and specifically the SDGs and their targets and indicators related to pastoralism and rangelands.

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