ICARDA’s Rangeland Ecology and Management Unit aims to reverse land degradation and desertification through the development of sustainable integrated range-livestock production systems, and the development and adoption of new technologies.
Activities are undertaken in seven main areas:
- Rangeland monitoring and assessment
- Biodiversity characterization and conservation
- Rehabilitation potential and methods
- Improved grazing management
- Institutional arrangements and policy options
- Assessing and improving ecosystem services
- Capacity building.
Encompassing all rangeland stakeholders – including natural resource managers, pastoralists, agro-pastoralists, and policy makers – initiatives will provide a framework for national agricultural research systems and other partners to plan effective strategies for range management research.
Implementation will exploit advances in rangeland research - the use of remote sensing, GPS, and social science perspectives – to understand how the management of these vulnerable regions can be improved.
Given that pastoralists are the guardians of rangelands and rarely respect regulations introduced from outside, ICARDA scientists prioritize community inclusion and the development of legitimate community institutions. The Center aims to involve local community members in every stage of an initiative or project – including planning, implementation, management, and monitoring. This approach also emphasizes the participation of women, ensuring that initiatives address their needs and tackle gender inequality.
Given that human resources are the cornerstone for successful rangeland development, it is essential to build the capacities of local individuals and institutions involved. ICARDA therefore aims to provide appropriate training and education – especially in planning and evaluation.