Promoting the sustainable use of farm animal genetic resources

Geerlings, Ellen, Evelyn Mathias and Ilse Köhler-Rollefson. 2002. Securing tomorrow’s food: Promoting the sustainable use of farm animal genetic resources: Issues and options. League for Pastoral Peoples, Ober-Ramstadt, Germany. 4 pp.

Geerlings, Ellen, Evelyn Mathias and Ilse Köhler-Rollefson. 2002. Securing tomorrow’s food: Promoting the sustainable use of farm animal genetic resources: Information for action. League for Pastoral Peoples, Ober-Ramstadt, Germany. 70 pp.

Farm animal diversity is vanishing at an alarming rate. As industrial livestock production expands, it is relying on fewer and fewer breeds. Already, 15% of the world’s livestock and poultry breeds are extinct, and another 35% are endangered. We are coming to depend on a livestock population with a dangerously narrow genetic base: because of their genetic uniformity, huge numbers of animals could be wiped out by a new disease.

Locally adapted animal breeds carry genetic material of immense value. These breeds must be conserved. The only realistic way to do so is by maintaining the production systems they are part of – by supporting the small farmers and pastoralists who manage these animals.

Securing tomorrow’s food: Promoting the sustainable use of farm animal genetic resources includes two documents. Issues and optionsis a four-page summary of the issues for decision-makers and field staff from governmental and non-governmental institutions and organisations working on agriculture, livestock production, natural resources management, food security and other aspects of rural development in the South.

Information for action is a 70-page dossier with the details: background on the problem of disappearing breeds, case studies on the importance of local breeds, selected papers on the conservation and use of these breeds, and a list of resources to draw on.

The goal of these documents is to stimulate policy makers, project staff and members of grassroots organisations to support in their policies and actions the sustainable use and community-based management of farm animal breeds.

Click on the links below to download the text. You will need Adobe Acrobat to read the downloaded files. Click here to get Acrobat.

  • Issues and options: Summary of the issues for policy makers 394 kb
  • Information for action Cover and contents 309 kb
  • Information for action Parts 1 and 2: Putting the conservation and sustainable use of farm animal breeds on the international agenda, and A different approach – case studies on the importance and sustainable use of local breeds 198 kb
  • Information for action Part 3: Selected papers 517 kb
  • Information for action Part 4: Resources 32 kb
  • Information for action Full text 1213 kb