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As the main agricultural production systems in dryland areas, pastoralism and agropastoralism support the livelihoods of 100 million to 200 million people worldwide. According to the World Bank, the number of extremely poor pastoralists and agropastoralists can range from 35 million to 90 million. The largest number of pastoralists (more than 40 per cent) live in sub-Saharan Africa, while 25 per cent live in the Middle East and North Africa, 16 per cent in East Asia, 8 per cent in South Asia, and 4 per cent each in Latin America and in Europe and Central Asia.

The loss of sustainable agricultural practices based largely on traditional knowledge leads to changing socioeconomic and environmental conditions that negatively impact the rural population. Studies show that the adoption of improved agricultural practices and technologies may help to stabilize the situation and lessen food insecurity.

Locally adapted pasture management solutions are crucial to food security worldwide. Just what such solutions can achieve is demonstrated by the examples of best practices from Morocco, the Sudan, Turkey, Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan included in the present publication. The descriptions of the various cases include information on the respective contexts, the approaches applied, implementation and achievements, and dissemination. Special emphasis is given to aspects that would benefit the most from additional, targeted funding-partner support. The examples cover issues ranging from pasture management practices to local community development. The impacts of measures on the livelihoods of women are also highlighted. Many of the projects start from traditional methods and practices and show ways to enhance them.

This publication is produced within the framework of the South-South and Triangular Cooperation for Agricultural Development and Enhanced Food Security (SSTC-ADFS) partnership initiative, which is jointly supported by the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), the Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) and the United Nations Office for South-South Cooperation (UNOSSC). The focus of the initiative is on further advancing South-South cooperation among the participating countries as well as other countries in the Middle East, North Africa, Europe, Central Asia and beyond through the identification, pilot testing and documentation of successful models and approaches ready for replication. For this publication, the geographical scope has been limited to nine countries and three regions that are part of the SSTC-ADFS partnership initiative.

The publication provides an overview of experiences from five projects across the Arab States, Europe and the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS). Each case addresses different aspects of the contribution of existing sustainable policies and practices in pasture management to the enhanced resilience of smallholder farmer communities in the countries participating in the SSTC-ADFS partnership initiative. The documented experiences cover issues ranging from poverty alleviation among rural youth and women and self-reliance of rural communities to food security and agricultural development.

The objective of the publication is to present and promote these projects as best practices in sustainable pasture management and to offer them as instructive examples of the agricultural development dividends that could potentially contribute to enhanced food security in the countries participating in the partnership initiative. The case material and lessons put forward are offered as an input of South-South and triangular cooperation for the achievement of the 2030 Agenda globally.

The publication is designed to assist all stakeholders, including farmers, to fully assume their responsibilities for good pasture management. Good farming practices should also address, in a coherent manner, environmental issues and the socioeconomic effect on the local community and nationally, including their impact on youth and women. The recommendations in the publication complement the responsibilities of the governments and local authorities at the farm level and are intended to assist in developing pro-poor livestock policies. The bibliography lists the most relevant documents and publications consulted.

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