The Ark of Livestock Diversity

This exciting new project has the full name “From Biocultural Protocols to the Ark of Livestock Biodiversity”. It is supported by the Fondation d’entreprise Hermes. Starting in July, 2011, the objective is to build on the existing Biocultural Community Protocols of three pastoralist communities in India, Pakistan and Kenya and to examine the scope for developing a special brand or label that indicates to consumers that a product is from a locally adapted livestock breeds and derives from biodiversity conserving production systems (“Ark of livestock biodiversity”).

We will use participatory community surveys to identify and document traditional livestock products and processing methods, analyse the special properties of these products in terms of sensory qualities, nutritional value, and medicinal effects in collaboration with scientists and share the results with communities, private enterprise and policy makers.

Expected results include an inventory of existing traditional products and processing methods from the selected pastoral communities, an analysis of the potential of local breeds for specialty products and evaluation of their health, heritage and sensory values, better understanding of the technological requirements for producing products tailored to urban consumer preferences, awareness among communities, policy makers and private enterprise about the economic opportunities inherent in local breeds, as well as insights into the potential and promise of and criteria for a special label/brand for products from biodiversity conserving livestock systems.

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

This project has several objectives: To highlight the role of pastoralists and indigenous livestock keepers in biodiversity conservation, to build the capacity of our partners and other interested NGOS in undertaking breed documentation and Biocultural Protocols, and to strengthen African and Asian LIFE Networks. Some of the specific activities included participation in the 10th Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity in Nagoya (Japan), preparatory and capacity-building workshops, inputs to policy processes at the FAO’s Commission on Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (CGRFA), as well as various publications and articles. A two-day event for introducing Biocultural Community protocols for livestock keepers to communities, policy makers, and donors is planned for 28th – 30th November in Nairobi.

Ark of Livestock Diversity Flyer