A New Global Initiative For Mobile Pastoralists
Roads Less Travelled – a new, open and global initiative for mobile pastoralists officially launched at CCRN & IUCN’s Communities, Conservation and LivelihoodsConference in Halifax, Canada. Initiated by Yolda Initiative, DiversEarth and Trashumancia y Naturaleza in close collaboration with mobile pastoralist communities and supporting organisations around the world, Roads Less Travelled supports and helps mobile pastoralists maintain their lifestyles and continue moving freely through the landscape.
Mobile pastoralists on the move with their herds have been shaping our landscapes for thousands of years. In doing so they not only support rural livelihoods but provide the highest quality products, maintain and enhance biodiversity, create connecting natural corridors, contribute to the mitigation of climate change, provide the best welfare for their animals, and much more.
Instead of acknowledging their vital contributions towards a healthy planet, modern society has made the continuing of their lifestyle extremely difficult. Traditional migration routes are being lost, many communities are being forced to settle down (often in the name of nature conservation), lands and territories are being grabbed, and entire cultures are being eroded.
In a bid to support mobile pastoralists, Yolda Initiative, DiversEarth and Trashumancia y Naturaleza, along with mobile pastoralist communities and supporting organisations around the world, are launching Roads Less Travelled – a new open, collaborative and global programme of work that supports and helps mobile pastoralists maintain their lifestyles and continue to move freely through the landscape.
“Roads Less Travelled aims to provide support to as many communities as possible by making the case scientifically for the value they bring to society today, by connecting communities in a virtual network, by telling their stories and celebrating their cultures” says Engin Yilmaz, director of Yolda Initiative and co-founder of Roads Less Travelled.
“In Spain we have been working for over 30 years reviving transhumance along the country’s many cañadas” says Jesus Garzon, President of Trashumancia y Naturaleza. “We have much to share with the rest of the world” adds Concha Salguero of Trashumancia y Naturaleza. “From policy interventions to on-the-ground support to shepherds – so this new global initiative is both timely and much needed.”
“It is time to celebrate the pastoralists of the world not only for the services they provide but also for the important lessons they hold for life and living” says Liza Zogib, director of DiversEarth and co-founder of Roads Less Travelled. “From the inhospitable valleys of the Himalayas to the deserts of Africa; from the high Andes to the centre of Madrid, indigenous peoples and communities the world over are making the most of marginal lands and struggling against a tide of modernity in which they often can’t find their place.”
Roads Less Travelled officially launched on 29 May 2018 at CCRN & IUCN’s Communities, Conservation and Livelihoods Conferencein Halifax, Canada, with a panel session including presentations from Turkey, Spain, Portugal, North Africa and Chile. Mobile pastoralist communities and their supporting organisations and individuals are invited to join in this global movement to encourage a new respect for mobile pastoralists, for nature, for culture and for life and living.
Roads Less Travelled is supported in the Mediterranean by the Mava Foundation