Biocultural Community Protocols (BCPs)

(Biocultural) Community Protocols are documents produced by local communities about the biological diversity they create and conserve. They are an important means for local people to claim their rights under national and international law, especially though the Nagoya Protocol to the Convention on Biological Diversity. They are intended to ensure that recognition and benefits flow to indigenous and local communities for their role in conserving in the conservation and sustainable use of genetic resources.

Community protocols also have many other uses: telling the outside world about the community’s role in conserving biological diversity, documenting traditional knowledge and raising awareness among community members about their unique livestock and livelihood system.

BCPs for pastoralists were pioneered in India in 2009 by the Raika community,  with support from our partner organizations Lokhit Pashu-Palak Sansthan ( and Natural Justice (link). LPP advocates for wider use of the approach and has aided various members of the LIFE Network to implement BCPs, such as among the Samburu of Kenya, camel breeders of Rajasthan, Brela camel breeders in Pakistan, and many others.

LPP Beyond Material Transfer Agreements

Download LPP-Beyond-Material-Transfer-Agreements-A4.pdf
Download LPP-Beyond-Material-Transfer-Agreements.pdf

Study by Elizabeth Katushabe

“Towards resilience and social sustainability of the livestock sector” – Approaches of the LIFE Network in India to support biodiversity-based livestock development

Elizabeth Katushabe, 2014

Download the study here.

Livestock out of balance: From asset to liability in the course of the Livestock Revolution

This study by LPP member Evelyn Mathias investigates the impact of the Livestock Revolution on farmers.The results provide some major food for thought. They do suggest that livestock has turned in many cases from an asset into a liability, since farmers and livestock keepers, in order to remain competitive, are drawn into a debt trap, because of high initial investments on one side, and because they are squeezed between escalating input prices and the consolidated power of the food processors and supermarket chains on the other.

Poignantly, the author concludes that due to the financial squeeze many farmers find themselves in a position that “forces them to cut costs wherever they can, and creates strong incentives to unethical behaviour.” This observation would seem crucial with respect to current concerns and initiatives to structure and channel the global livestock sector onto a more sustainable track.

Download the study here

Flyer “Investing in Livestock Futures”


This flyer introduces the approaches promoted and used by LPP to strengthen the position of small-scale livestock keepers: Biocultural Protocols, Livestock Keepers’ Rights and an innovative approach to marketing the products of local breeds. Download LPP flyer – Investing in Livestock Futures

Saving Rajasthan’s camel herds

The perspective of camel breeders
Compiled by Arun Srivastava, Ilse Köhler-Rollefson, Hanwant Singh Rathore, and Uttra Kothari. Lokhit Pashu-Palak Sansthan

Over 50 camel breeders met in Sadri, Rajasthan in November 2004 to discuss the declining numbers of camels in Rajasthan. They recommended ways to increase access to grazing, improve veterinary services, and promote the marketing of camel milk and other products.

Download 650 kb, 370 kb, 27 pages

Saving the camel and peoples’ livelihoods

Building a Multi-Stakeholder Platform for the Conservation of the Camel in Rajasthan

Proceedings of an International Conference held on 23–25 November 2004 in Sadri. Lokhit Pashu-Palak Sansthan, Sadri, Rajasthan, India

Camel specialists from around the world discussed how to make camel keeping more profitable and attractive, so the decline in camel numbers in Rajasthan can be halted.

PDF 882 kb

Word 862 kb, 93 pages

Building an international legal framework on animal genetic resources

Can it help the drylands and food-insecure countries?

Ilse Köhler-Rollefson, 2005

Arguments for an international agreement to govern the genetic resources of farm animals. How can breeds and genes be conserved, where are the biodiversity hotspots, and what should an international agreement cover?


Full text 229 kb, 29 pages

Indigenous breeds, local communities

Documenting animal breeds and breeding from a community perspective

Lokhit Pashu-Palak Sansthan and Ilse Köhler-Rollefson, 2005

Describes the threats to indigenous breeds of livestock, and how to document them as a first step in conserving them in collaboration with the communities where they evolved. Manual produced with support from GTZ.

Download 550 kb, 80 pages

Herd movements

The exchange of livestock breeds and genes between North and South

Evelyn Mathias and Paul Mundy, 2005

An analysis of the flows of livestock breeds and genes between Germany and the developing world.


Full text 549 kb, 89 pages