Over 2 billion people depend on the world’s pastoral agrifood systems, which are found mainly in rangelands, cover approximately 54% of the world’s terrestrial surface, and host 50% of the world’s livestock. These systems are experiencing intensifying impacts from climate change, weakening their resilience and resulting in land degradation, productivity losses, conflicts, insecurities, and the displacement of populations. There is a lack of knowledge and capacity to support a (re)building of this resilience, leading to decision-making that fails to address the root causes of weakness, and relies on increasing humanitarian aid. Development interventions have been driven from outside communities, and the agency of pastoralists—particularly of women and youth—has not been fully tapped.
The sustainability of pastoral agrifood systems is further challenged by significant need for land and resource restoration and rehabilitation. Policy and legislation that prioritize investments in other types of agrifood systems lead to the further marginalization and exclusion of pastoralists and other local stakeholders.
This Initiative aims to strengthen the resilience of pastoral agrifood systems to climate change and other crises, while optimizing opportunities for those systems to grow productively.
This will be achieved by:
- Improving the security, health, productivity, and capacities of people, land, and livestock through 1) strengthened land and resource management and governance, 2) empowerment of women and youth, and 3) improved livestock health
- Improving understanding of what constitutes a resilient pastoral agrifood system, and how this resilience can be (re)built. This includes developing tools for risk management and early response to disasters.
- Improving the political, financial, and institutional enabling environment at national, regional, and global levels in order to better support agrisilvopastoralism, through policy dialogues, advocacy for resilience-building investment, and highlighting the role it can play in fulfilling national and global commitments.
Proposed 3-year outcomes include:
- Forty percent of pastoralists in target areas are adopting improved (more resilient) agrisilvopastoral processes and practices, including integrated management of livestock, crops, and trees, resulting in a 20% increase in rangeland productivity, good resource governance, efficient use of resources, and boosting of conservation and ecosystem services.
- A 30% increase in women and youth leading new pastoral agrifood system businesses, improving their capacity to access resources, control assets, and participate in decision-making, and contributing to their empowerment.
- A 10% improvement in livestock health and herd management, together with improved understandings of practices that address the health of people, animals, and environment.
- At least one tool, technology, or protocol to measure and build resilience of pastoral agrifood systems is taken up by users in each target country. Local and national risk management of drought, water, and disasters are improved. At least one private sector partnership for investment in pastoral agrifood systems is established.
- At least one improved policy, legislation, and/or institutional arrangement supporting agrisilvopastoralism in each target country. At least two research-for-development partnerships established in each country, and two at global level. National and global rangelands data platforms established.
|CLIMATE ADAPTATION & MITIGATION
Self-sustained and adaptive pastoral agrifood systems lead to pastoralists and others being more resilient to climate shocks. Investments in land improvements, restoration, and rehabilitation improve carbon storage/sequestration of land at local level and contribute to Land Degradation Neutrality country commitments, including land cover and productivity.
|NUTRITION, HEALTH & FOOD SECURITY
Improved pastoral agrifood systems coping better with climate change and other crises reduces the number of people experiencing hunger. Food and nutritional security are improved by increased intake of animal source foods, nutrient dense crops, vegetables, fruits, and nuts, while also increasing the number of people with healthier diets.
|POVERTY REDUCTION, LIVELIHOODS & JOBS
Equitable engagement of communities, particularly women and youth, in dynamic value chains reduces the number of people living in poverty, increases household income, and leads to economic empowerment. This is synergistically improved when supported by stronger engagement of private actors and increased investments in agrisilvopastoralism.
|GENDER EQUALITY, YOUTH & SOCIAL INCLUSION
Focus on women and youth in the development of value chains also increases employment and entrepreneurial opportunities for youth in the sector, reduces migration, and strengthens the rights of women to economic and other resources, contributing to overall social inclusion and empowerment.
|ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH & BIODIVERSITY
Sustainable land and natural resource management approaches in agrisilvopastoralism increase animal and plant biodiversity, boosting conservation and ecosystem services, including through increased land cover and in particular tree coverage. Improvements in nutrients and water cycling, and in waste management, improve water use.
Header photo: Boran cattle grazing on pasture in Yabello, Ethiopia. Photo by C. Hanotte/ILRI.