Sustainable Pastoralism and Human Well-Being

Research focus and questions. Image: Pastoralism initiative.

Future Earth initiative on Pastoralism: a global comparative research programme

Pastoralism has been a sustainable livelihood for millennia, always coexisting with wildlife and adapting to variable environments. With goals such as Planetary Health or Sustainable Futures, pastoralism should be in the spotlight and be the focus of much more research and investment. Up to date, the vast majority of research on pastoral systems has focused on individual systems, hampering the generality of the findings. Although pastoral systems are relatively similar, local and national settings vary widely. While this diversity may appear restricting, under a coordinated standardized approach this diversity becomes instrumental for envisaging advantages and shortcomings of pastoralism, as well as to provide general guidelines towards sustainable pastoralism and to improve well-being of pastoral societies under climate change. Under these premises, we propose a large scale comparative research program to tackle critical challenges faced by pastoral systems worldwide. We focus on three regions of the world (East Africa, Lapland and Mongolia) that, while being in different ecological settings, they have large contextual variation within and between regions.


Project Coordinator

Prof. Dr. Nils Chr. Stenseth

University of Oslo (UiO)
Centre for Ecological and Evolutionary Synthesis
The Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences
Blindernveien 31
0371 Oslo

Phone: +47-22854584

E-mail: n.c.stenseth[at]