Biocultural Community Protocols

“Biocultural Community Protocols” – an approach for livestock keeping communities to put on record their and traditional knowledge in stewarding biological diversity. They are a legal tool originally conceived by the NGO Natural Justice in response to the need for fair and equitable benefit-sharing agreements under the CBD. The first BCPs were pioneered by communities associated with the LIFE Network for community-based conservation of livestock biodiversity and the approach is receiving intense interest from many sides.

Current Project

  • Asian Regional Initiative on BCPs
Bakkarwal pastoralists looking at the Raika BCP


  • Biocultural Community Protocols for Livestock Keepers. LPPS, 2010.
  • Livestock Keepers. Guardians of biodiversity. FAO Animal Production and Health Paper 167.
  • Keepers of Genes. Indian Pastoralists and their Livestock Breeds. LPPS
  • Indigenous Breeds, Local Communities. Documenting Animal Breeds and Breeding from a Community Perspective

Women are the guardians of livestock diversity!

The FAO just published on-line a new study in its Animal Production and Health Paper series that analyses the role of women in managing livestock diversity.  It concludes that “women, as the main users of locally adapted livestock breeds, play a major role in managing animal genetic resources and thereby conserving them. They also make deliberate breeding decisions, generally preferring animals that are easy to manage and disease resistant and that therefore do not increase their workload.” A number of case-studies, many of them from South India, are presented.

Statement at the FAO’s Commission on Agriculture

LPP and LIFE Network attended the 23rd meeting of the Commission on Agriculture (CoAg) at the FAO to make an intervention about the Global Agenda of Action towards sustainable livestock sector development (GAA). The Statement made the point that small-scale livestock keepers, representing the largest stakeholder group in livestock policy processes, must be represented in the GAA and that this would require funding, communication and capacity-building.