Pastoralism is globally significant in social, environmental, and economic terms. However, it experiences crises
rooted in misconceptions and poor interdisciplinary understanding, while being largely overlooked in international
sustainability forums and agendas. Here, we propose a transdisciplinary research approach to
understand pastoralist transitions using (1) social, economic, and environmental dimensions, (2) diverse
geographic contexts and scales to capture emerging properties, allowing for cross-system comparisons,
and (3) timescales from the distant past to the present. We provide specific guidelines to develop indicators
for this approach, within a social-ecological resilience analytical framework to understand change. Distinct
systems undergo similar transitions over time, crossing critical thresholds and then either collapsing or
recovering. Such an integrated view of multidimensional interactions improves understanding of possible
tipping points, thereby supporting better-informed decision making. The need for a paradigm shift in pastoralism
science and policy is pressing. This research approach, including participatory methods, can provide
the solutions urgently needed.
Articles, citations, reports, websites, and multimedia resources focused on rangeland ecology, management, restoration, and other issues on rangelands around the world.