A Fulani boy in Niger herds his family’s animals Photo S. Mann/ILRI

Making the case for new data on rangelands

Blog post

“What if much of the basic information being used to describe approximately half of the world’s land surface dated from as far back as the 1960s? (And, is ‘approximately half’ even still a correct estimation?)”

This is the question asked by the Landscape News Editor in a recent post on rangelands in the Global Landscapes Forum’s Landscape News. The dearth of good data on rangelands is hampering efforts to influence policies that would protect this oft-misunderstood ecosystem that is host to rich biodiversity, provides important water catchment services  and supports the livelihoods of more than 500 million people, many of whom are pastoralists and whose traditional ways make them natural stewards of rangelands.

“We need ‘big data’ to make the case for rangelands and to push back against misperceptions,” says says senior scientist and rangelands specialist Fiona Flintan of the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) in the post.

“Just like data on forests, we need updated, quality data that demonstrates the value of rangelands and covers issues such as land-use change and degradation so we can better engage policy-makers.”

Read the full article An awakening for the world’s rangelands: Pastoralists and their ancestral lands are showing their value for the global future to learn more.