UN Report Urges Recognition of Pastoralists' Rights in India

  • 22 May 2024

In May, 2024, a new UN report highlights the plight of India's pastoralists, urging for better rights recognition and market access amid rangeland degradation.

Key Points

  • Rangeland Degradation: Nearly half of the world’s rangelands are degraded, affecting 20 million pastoralists in India.
  • Ecosystem Importance: Rangelands act as carbon sinks, prevent soil erosion, and are crucial for combating climate change.
  • Marginalized Communities: Pastoralists, like Maldharis and Van Gujjars, lack influence in policy decisions, leading to uncertain land rights.
  • Lack of Conservation: Grasslands are overlooked in environmental policies, with less than 5% protected in India.
  • Economic Contribution: Pastoralists contribute significantly to the economy through livestock rearing, milk production, and agriculture.
  • Legal Gains: Laws like the Forest Rights Act 2006 have helped pastoralists secure grazing rights, but challenges persist.
  • Government Initiatives: Schemes like the National Livestock Mission and Rashtriya Gokul Mission aim to support sustainable dairy production and assist pastoralists.