Livestock Keepers’ Rights

Livestock Keepers’ Rights are a concept developed by civil society through a series of grassroots consultations with indigenous livestock keeping communities during the “Interlaken process” during the “Interlaken process” that led to the Global Plan of Action on Animal Genetic Resources. Initially only advocated for by a group of non-government organizations, livestock keepers, pastoralist associations and scientists who support community-based conservation of local breeds, while governments resisted. But as a consequence of the recently concluded Nagoya Protocol on Access and Benefit-Sharing, there is now increased interest even among governments in addressing Livestock Keepers’ Rights.

Current Project
Lobbying and Capacity-building for the Implementation of International Legal Frameworks Relating to Biodiversity Conserving Livestock Keepers


Call for in-situ conservation of livestock breeds

A group of non-government organizations has called on governments and international organizations to support the conservation of livestock breeds in their original habitats – and by the livestock-keeping groups that developed them.
Members of the LIFE Network, a grouping of organizations focusing on local livestock breeds, made the call at a conference at Kuttapalayam, in Tamil Nadu, India, on 13-15 August 2010.
The final statement from the conference calls on the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations to promote agro-ecosystems approaches to the management of animal genetic resources and support indigenous and local production systems.These goals are already incorporated in the Global Plan of Action on Animal Genetic Resources.
The NGOs also demanded that livestock keepers be included in the debate about the future of livestock production and to be recognized as guardians of livestock biodiversity.
The conference statement was signed by 21 NGOs from India, South Africa, Kenya, Spain and Germany.
Blog posting from Natural Justice, a South African NGO that participated in the conference.

Download the Kuttapalayam Confirmation document 123 kb

People-centred livestock development: A tool for sustainable development?

Ellen Geerlings

People-centred livestock development builds on livestock keepers’ own initiatives and efforts, while helping them to use the best of both local and outside knowledge and resources. This literature review summarizes and analyses the experiences of 16 projects and organizations in Africa, Latin America and Europe that use such approaches.

Geerlings, Ellen. 2010. People-centred livestock development: A tool for sustainable development? League for Pastoral Peoples and Endogenous Livestock Development. Ober-Ramstadt, Germany.

Download 704 kb

Pakistan floods threaten livelihoods of livestock keepers

The floods in Pakistan have decimated stocks of animals, says Abdul Raziq Kakar, president of the Pakistani NGO SAVES. It is vital for people’s livelihoods to save as many animals as possible, and to help farmers and livestock keepers restock their herds.
“Every animal we save is a productive asset that poor families can use to rebuild their lives when the floods finally pass. The main priority and challenge is to get feed to those animals that have survived as much of the country’s traditional animal feed straw and forage has been lost in the floods”, says Abdul Raziq. “For buffalo and cattle, it is essential to enable the herds to rebuild quickly during the next breeding season. It is also imperative to get medicines to animals that have fallen weak or sick because of the disaster.”

Download Abdul Raziq’s report “Floods, river Indus and the local livestock breeds in Pakistan”

Ugandan cattle keepers document their breed

Ankole cattle in southwestern Uganda are well-known for their massive horns. Now this breed has been documented by the people who keep it for the first time.

Elizabeth Katushabe of the Pastoral and Environmental Network in the Horn of Africa (PENHA) coordinated the documentation effort, in collaboration with LPP and the Local Livestock for Empowerment (LIFE) Network. The resulting book is available in English and Kinyankole, the local language.

Katushabe, E. 2009. The need to conserve the Ankole Longhorn cattle of Uganda: A community perspective. Pastoral and Environmental Network in the Horn of Africa (PENHA), League for Pastoral Peoples and Endogenous Livestock Development (LPP) and the LIFE Network.

Download English version

Download Kinyankole version