Protect and restore grasslands to preserve the communities of humans and wildlife that depend on them, reverse desertification, improve water cycles, and sequester carbon in their soils.
Occupying approximately 40 percent of the planet’s land surface, grasslands are among the most endangered ecosystems on earth. Home to bison, zebra, wildebeest, antelopes, rhinos, and numerous other wildlife species, grasslands, and savannahs comprise 80 percent of all agricultural land and support a billion people. They account for one-third of global terrestrial carbon storage, much of which takes place below ground, making it more secure than forests. In many places, grasslands are shared with human pastoralists and their livestock. However, grasslands are being lost and degraded. In the U.S., 40 percent of shortgrass and 99 percent of tallgrass prairie have been converted to cropland. Droughts amplified by climate change are heavily impacting grasslands. These losses have cascading negative impacts, including carbon sequestration, and need to be countered with protection and restoration.