Projects & Activities

Nomadic Herders: enhancing the resilience of pastoral ecosystems and livelihoods

Recent research has shown that the degradation of pastures combined with the consequences of a changing climate poses significant challenges to nomadic pastoralism. The Nomadic Herders project addresses this by aiming to improve the development and resilience of reindeer pasture ecosystems in Russia and Mongolia; to strengthen the sustainability of the pastoralist livelihoods; and to increase the resilience and capacity of the nomadic communities to adapt to land-use change and climate change.

Photo by Lawrence Hislop, GRID-Arendal


The UNEP Nomadic Herders initiative started in 2010 with funding from the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Jointly with herders, local partners and national authorities, the project is studying the impacts of land-use change and climate change on nomadic pastoralists, and further assessing the herders’ adaptation options and opportunities. It is facilitating dialogue between various stakeholders, helping to build partnerships between reindeer herding communities, and supporting and strengthening local institutions. It is are also increasing the capacity of nomadic herders to engage in the decision-making processes concerning land use and natural resource management.

Project partners

  • GRID-Arendal
  • The Association of World Reindeer Herders
  • International Centre for Reindeer Husbandry
  • UArctic EALÁT Institute for Circumpolar Reindeer Husbandry
  • Mongolian Ministry of Nature, Environment and Tourism
  • Taiga Nature Society, Mongolia
  • All-Russian Research Institute for Nature Conservation
  • Saint-Petersburg State University


Visit the Nomadic Herders at

Project Duration: ongoing  

Contact: Björn Alfthan


Completed projects