Pastoralism and Rangelands Restoration:
Promising solutions to benefit our planet and people
The share of ruminant livestock in greenhouse gas emissions and its responsibility for climate change on a global scale is often the subject of debate at the global level, raising questions about animal source derived food in sustainable diets. While this debate in high-income countries polarizes opinions on intensive livestock farming, it is important to take a more local perspective of the footprint of traditional livestock systems in the drylands, highlands, shrubland and wetlands to question, not only, their resilience in the face of climate change and their sustainability for the environment, but also their efficiency in the fight against food insecurity and malnutrition.
Rangelands including grasslands, savannahs and tundra, occupy 54% of all land on earth. They ensure food security for millions of people and provide valuable ecosystem services, including climate regulation, conserving biodiversity and water supply. One third of the world’s total soil carbon is stored in rangelands; up to 70 t/ha of additional soil carbon could be stored through restoration. Nature-based pastoralism and restoration of grasslands and rangelands will require an urgent and combined effort of controlling conversion, restoring natural ecosystems, and rehabilitating degraded lands.