Livestock Keepers and the Management of Animal Genetic Resources: Roles, Rights, and Responsibilities

Pastoralists and other livestock keepers should have the right to participate in formulating national policies. That was one of the conclusions of a workshop on Pastoralists, Livestock Keepers Rights and Animal Genetic Resources, on 24 to 26 February 2007.

Around 100 pastoralists from all over India attended the workshop in Sadri, Rajasthan, along with delegations from Mongolia, Iran and the Philippines.

The workshop also demanded official recognition for pastoralists as custodians of animal genetic resources. Their mobile way of life and their traditional rights to use forest lands and other natural resources must be protected, said participants.

An international meeting followed immediately after the national workshop. Participants from Bangladesh, China, Germany, India, Iran, Mongolia, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Thailand, the UK and Vietnam, along with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, clarified the concept of Livestock Keepers’ Rights. This a bundle of rights and recommendations for strengthening the role of livestock keepers in animal genetic resource management.

Issues discussed included:

  • The loss of grazing land and traditional knowledge, leading to the erosion of animal genetic resources
  • The dangers of intensive, industrial food production systems and their narrowing of animal genetic diversity
  • The threat to the right of livestock keepers to breed their own animals
  • The lack of support for Livestock Keepers’ Rights from governments worldwide
  • The need to build the capacity of livestock keepers

Report from the two meetings: 326 kb