Pastoralism and Achievement of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development: A Missing Piece of the Global Puzzle

  • M. Niamir-Fuller
  • E. Huber-Sannwald
Part of the Springer Climate book series (SPCL)


Integrity and productivity of ecosystem goods and services from rangelands are critical to the livelihoods of over a billion people worldwide. Pastoralists play a key role in the conservation and sustainable management of these important life-support systems. Yet, an increasing number of environmental, socio-economic, and political threats have jeopardized the integrity of rangelands and the security of this livelihood type, and hence stewardship of global natural rangeland systems. Sustainable pastoralism can synergistically link several sustainable development goals (SDG) as they are critical to achieving food security, resilient local and regional economies, cultural diversity, conservation and sustainable use of biological diversity, carbon sequestration, land and water rehabilitation. Pastoralism has a cross-cutting role for stewardship of drylands and natural rangelands while also achieving the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. We show how single-sector economic development approaches of the past have led to loss of livelihoods, increased inequality and land degradation for many pastoral communities in developing countries. How can the SDGs help induce more integrated approaches, and what are the challenges and barriers to doing so? We also highlight recent tools and approaches that can help, including the benefits of developing integrated indicators for monitoring and measuring progress towards sustainable pastoralism.


Pastoralism Rangelands Sustainability SDG Indicators 



The authors greatly appreciate the stimulating discussions and support from the International Rangeland Congress Steering Committee and the IYRP support group. EHS gratefully acknowledges the financial support from CONACYT (projects CB 2015-251388B, 293793, PDCPN-2017/5036).


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. Niamir-Fuller
    • 1
  • E. Huber-Sannwald
    • 2
  1. 1.Vice-Chair International Support GroupInternational Year of Rangelands and PastoralistsPurcellvilleUSA
  2. 2.División de Ciencias AmbientalesInstituto Potosino de Investigación Científica y TecnológicaSan Luis PotosiMexico

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