Occupying over 750 million hectares across Central and West Asia and North Africa – approximately 70 per cent of the region’s total land area – rangelands hold significant socio-economic and cultural value, providing multiple roles as sources of subsistence, food security, income, and social status. Unfortunately, these regions also suffer from low productivity and increasing rates of degradation and desertification, threatening millions who depend on rangelands for their livelihoods
ICARDA is helping to reverse degradation through improved resource management and the introduction of practices and technologies that are capable of conserving fragile biodiversity, maintaining ecosystems, and improving rangeland productivity. Interventions include sustainable grazing management, low cost water harvesting and reseeding technologies, and the introduction of stress-tolerant, multi-purpose trees and shrubs. These science-based solutions are international public goods, freely available to all partners working in low-income countries.
ICARDA’s integrated approach is multi-dimensional, involving all stakeholders in rangeland production systems. It also exploits new advances in technology and understanding, using remote sensing, GPS, and social science perspectives to manage rangelands more effectively. Research is further guided by seven main themes: monitoring and assessment, biodiversity conservation, rehabilitation, grazing management, institution and policy options, ecosystem services, and capacity development.