shepherd drought management

A turning point for drought management: upscaling the silvopastoral approach



  • Drought has positioned itself as a key item on the global agenda against climate change since the wake of the Glasgow Climate Pact, followed by the fifteenth session of the Conference of the Parties (COP15) of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD).
  • The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) works in the Near East North Africa (NENA) region, where droughts hit hard and put massive pressure on precious, fast-depleting resources.  Agro-silvopastoral communities often bear the brunt of the impacts of climate change, suffering from high levels of food insecurity, conflict, and environmental degradation. 
  • Silvopastoral systems have a key role to play in addressing drought. Managing and restoring land through these techniques not only improves community and ecosystem resilience through water cycle drought management but also brings a range of other benefits including increased land cover, carbon mitigation, new livelihoods, and a reduction in biodiversity loss.


FAO’s path toward integrating forests, trees, and livestock in dryland silvopastoral systems 


Path 1: Develop forest-related legal frameworks and tools to support silvopastoralism.

Path 2: Build social capital and capacity of communities to develop silvopastoral initiatives.

Path 3: Promote good governance through stakeholder dialogue for concrete actions.

Path 4: Co-produce and mobilize silvopastoral knowledge and practice.

Path 5: Consider the multifunctionality of silvopastoral systems to enhance integrated management.

Path 6: Incentivize and diversify value chains of silvopastoral and forest products.

Path 7: Strengthen the monitoring and information systems 


Download the recent FAO publication on the topic Grazing with Trees – it includes 17 case studies evidencing the multifunctional role of silvopastoral systems 🐐

Author: Fidaa F. Haddad & Miranda Wadham-Smith, The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO)

Publisher: Global Landscapes Forum

Language: English

Year: 2022

Ecosystem(s): Drylands and Rangelands

Location(s): North Africa

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