Overview and details of the sessions of this conference. Please select a date or location to show only sessions at that day or location. Please select a single session for detailed view (with abstracts and downloads if available).
118S: Pastoralist Knowledge Practices and Management for Biodiversity
4:15pm - 6:15pm
Session Chair: Serena Ferrari Session Chair: Jesús Garzón Session Chair: Luca Battaglini Session Chair: SANTIAGO JOSE CARRALERO BENITEZ Session Chair: Ilse Köhler-Rollefson Session Chair: Simon Tagourdeau
Location:Flüela Parallel Session
The session will discuss the application of indigenous pastoralist knowledge and management practices in biodiversity conservation. Pastoralism is a livestock production system that relies heavily on the continued service exchanges with its ecosystems. A close link exists between pastoral peoples, the ecosystems in which they live, and the animals that they breed. It therefore has a significant role to play in the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity. Pastoralists employ indigenous management systems and naturally adopt many of the principles that target the maintenance and enhancement of ecosystem health.
Nonetheless, factors such as continuing biodiversity loss, accelerating climate variability, and loss of pastoral ways of life – due to enforced sedentarization programs, i.e. agriculture expansion, urbanization and disruption of livestock corridors and mobility routes, etc. – put the future of pastoralism and its role in biodiversity conservation at an imbalance. In addition, invasive plant species are presenting an increasing threat through both competition for grazing or through the replacement of high nutritional value plants with species with a lower nutritional value. The introduction of high water demand invasive tree species is also disrupting water availability in some rangeland areas.Despite the environmental challenges facing pastoral systems, pastoralists have traditionally managed rangelands sustainably and delivered a number of positive benefits for biodiversity. In recent years, research has been providing scientific evidence of these positive environmental externalities. For example, in many cases, sustainable mobility and grazing practices actually increase species diversity and stimulate pasture growth, thus maintaining ecosystem structures. In addition, pastoralism sustains diversity in ecosystems by reducing the risk of local extinctions due to increased inbreeding and loss of animal genetic variation in small populations. Pastoralism also contributes to the reduction of disasters such as fires, drought and flooding through the active management of vegetative cover. Studies have shown that desertification often occurs where policies undermine the pastoralist indigenous knowledge system, otherwise if supported by appropriate policies, biodiversity and ecosystem integrity are usually enhanced. Understanding and promoting these benefits, and thus feeding back positively on the system, have been shown to make good economic sense.Indeed, the pastoral systems apply an ecosystem approach through their indigenous knowledge practices. The approach promotes conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity in an equitable way through recognizing that humans, with their cultural diversity, are an integral component of ecosystems. Supporting and implementing pastoralists’ indigenous knowledge practices and management systems to realize the benefits on biodiversity is crucial. Our session will highlight some of these practices and knowledge systems applied by pastoralists to conserve biodiversity. For that purpose, we will use case studies from the field, as well as conceptual frameworks applicable to different geographical landscapes and tools developed by FAO and other stakeholders – such as the FAO Technical Guide 6 (Improving governance of Pastoral lands), the Bio-cultural community protocol, and the IFAD Pastoral Development Toolkit
4:15pm - 4:30pm
Assessing the Contribution of Pastoralism to Biodiversity