Did you know...
Healthy rangelands benefit local and national economies, pastoralists, and nomadic herding populations by ensuring food security and providing land for farming, grazing, forage, as well as water.
However, due to the recent and rapidly mounting pressures on common resources, the increase of livestock numbers, and the wide-scale expansion of industries, an estimated 60-88% of all pasturelands have degraded in Central Asia and over 40% in Southern Asia. Land degradation is one of the major challenges of land governance in most Central and Southern Asian countries,
placing herders at a greater risk of experiencing climate crisis from water shortages and temperature increases, to loss of access to proper grazing areas. Reflecting upon these challenges, the work of ILC-led Central Asia Pastoralist Alliance (CAPA) and South Asia Pastoralist Alliance (SAPA) is therefore centred on the promotion of sustainable use of rangelands and mitigation of climate change in the region.
Looking back at 2020: CAPA & SAPA
What we do
Since its establishment in 2015, the Asia Rangelands Initiative in Central and South Asia aims at working to increase the tenure security of rangeland users by facilitating the development and implementation of policies to protect rangelands resources, support their sustainable use, and recognise the rights of their users. The initiative also seeks to promote the notion of pastoralists essentially being ecosystem service providers, protecting local biodiversity and counteracting degradation of the environment in extreme climate events. For this reason, the Asia Rangelands Initiative is committed to:
- Encouraging cooperation between different entities such as decision-makers, community-based organisations, Pasture User Groups, and development organisations.
- Evaluating pastureland management, co-managing pasture and forest use contracts with local authorities, regulating Pasture User Associations (PUAs), organising learning events, and empowering women’s collective land rights.
- Offering support in the process of policy formulation and enforcement across sub-regions and helping Governments ameliorate the acknowledgment of community rights.
- Leading advocacy and lobbying endeavours at the national, regional and global level, including calls for the International Year of Rangelands and Pastoralists in 2026.
Where we work
In Central Asia, CAPA members were highly involved in the drafting and implementation of six land-related policies, including amendments to pasture laws across Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, and Mongolia. These policy developments prompted the recognition of pastoralist and herder community land rights, securing more than 39 million hectares of pasturelands and affecting the livelihoods of over 80,000 households.
While in South Asia, SAPA members in India prompted the establishment of the first National Pastoral Alliance, the Rashtriya Pashupalan Sangathan- currently active in 10 states. One of its greatest achievements was the successful preservation of the livelihoods of over 200 pastoralist families through the attainment of a government grant of 80 hectares of grazing lands to the Jungi village in the Gunji Province- where wind farms and the Forest Department had been encroaching the lands.
Why rangelands matter
The detrimental impact of the new farm laws on pastoralists in India
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Nomadic Custodians: A Case for Securing Pastoralist Land Rights
As part of the Global Call to Action in Indigenous and Community Land Rights, this brief puts the spotlight on the need to secure land rights for the world’s pastoralists, as pastoralism is practised by an estimated 200-500 million people.