Daily Hot Topic

Topic : Rangelands Under Threat

GS-1 Mains : Geography

Revision Notes

Why in News?

  • The UN Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) released a report highlighting the critical situation of rangelands and pastoralist communities globally.
  • Degradation at Alarming Rate: Nearly half of the world’s rangelands are degraded due to climate change, population growth, land-use changes, and expanding farmlands.
  • Marginalized Pastoralists: Pastoral communities, who depend on these lands for livestock rearing, face limited influence on policy decisions and uncertain access to land rights.
  • Overlooked Ecosystem: Grasslands receive less attention in conservation efforts compared to forests. This can lead to conversion of natural grasslands for plantations or other uses.

India Specific Findings:

  • Land Degradation: Less than 5% of India’s rangelands are protected areas. The total area has shrunk from 18 million hectares in 2005 to 12 million hectares in 2015.
  • Vast Underutilized Rangelands: India has about 121 million hectares of rangelands, with around 100 million hectares considered underutilized.
  • Economic Importance: Pastoral communities contribute significantly to the economy through livestock rearing and milk production. Livestock contributes 4% of India’s GDP and 26% of agricultural GDP. India has 20% of the world’s livestock population.
  • Government Initiatives: The Forest Rights Act (2006) helps secure grazing rights, while schemes like the National Livestock Mission and Rashtriya Gokul Mission support sustainable dairy production. Additionally, programs like the National Afforestation Programme and Green India Mission address land degradation.


  • Integrated Strategies: Implement climate mitigation and adaptation plans alongside sustainable rangeland management to enhance carbon storage and support pastoralist communities.
  • Protect Rangeland Diversity: Avoid converting rangelands, especially on indigenous and communal lands, to preserve their biodiversity and functionality.
  • Support Pastoralism: Adopt strategies that address threats to rangeland health, such as overgrazing, invasive species, and wildfires, while promoting sustainable pastoral practices.

Source :  https://indianexpress.com/article/india/pastoralists-india-land-un-report-9342969/

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